2015 Sacrilege Cases: SIT files first charge sheet, names six Dera followers

A Punjab Police SIT probing the cases of theft and sacrilege in Faridkot district in 2015 on Friday filed its first chargesheet against six Dera Sacha Sauda followers who were arrested two months ago.

Special Investigation Team chief SPS Parmar, who is also the IGP, Border Range Amritsar, said the challan has been presented in a Faridkot court in the case pertaining to the desecration of the Holy Book in Bargari village.

The court has fixed July 20 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

Torn pages of the Guru Granth Sahib were found strewn at Bargari village on October 12, 2015. The same day, a case under sections 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs), 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 120-B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code was registered at Bajakhana police station on the statement of Bargari gurdwara manager Kulwinder Singh.

The SIT on May 16 had arrested six followers of the Sirsa-based dera in connection with three cases — the Bargari case, case of theft of Guru Granth Sahib from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village registered on June 2, 2015 and the case of handwritten sacrilegious and derogatory posters in Bargari village registered on September 25, 2015. The arrested accused, who have now been named in the chargesheet, were identified as Sukhjinder Singh, alias Sunny; Shakti Singh; Ranjit Singh, alias Bhola; Baljit Singh; Nishan Singh and Pardeep Singh.

The six against whom chargesheet has been filed

  • Sukhjinder Singh alias Sunny Kanda, a resident of Kotkapura who was “earlier running dairy business but presently working as electrician & plumber”. As per the the SIT investigation, he was the most trusted man of dera follower Mohinder Pal Bittu, the key accused in the cases who was killed in Nabha jail on June 22, 2019, and “is involved in all the three cases of sacrilege”. As per the SIT, he had “cut and torn the pages of Guru Granth Sahib and finally strewn those at Bargari”.
  • Shakti Singh, a resident of Daggo Romana, “is a carpenter and involved in all the three cases of sacrilege”. As per the SIT, Shakti “drove the Alto car of Sunny when Guru Granth Sahib was handed over to Baljit Singh (another accused in the case) in that car; and bought A-4 size papers and Reynolds marker from the stationary shop of Gopal in Bargari”.
  • Ranjit Singh alias Bhola, a resident of Kotkapura, “works as insurance agent” at Muktsar and is “also involved in all the three cases of sacrilege”. As per the SIT, he was “driving the A-Star car when Sunny scattered the pages of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari”.
  • Baljit Singh, a resident of Sikhan Wala, “is a labourer” and “also involved in all the three cases of sacrilege”.As per the SIT, he “took about 100 pages of Guru Granth Sahib to Pardeep Singh (another accused in the case) along with Ranjit Singh”.
  • Nishan Singh, a resident of Kotkapura, “has a furniture business at Kotkapura and is involved in two cases of sacrilege”. As per SIT investigation, he was “sitting on the hind seat of A-Star car while Sunny scattered the pages at Bargari”.
  • Pardeep Singh alias Raju Dhodhi, “owns a dairy near his house and was involved in one incident of sacrilege”. Arrested in Bargari case, Pardeep, as per SIT, was “handed over 100 pages of Guru Granth Sahib to be strewn around on the Hari Nau Road Kotkapura. He however got scared due to the dharna held by local people at main chowk Kotkapura and he disposed off holy pages in the canal near Bahman Wala village”.

The Bargari Case

The Bargari case was transferred to CBI for investigation on November 2, 2015. On September 6, 2018 Punjab government notified to take back sacrilege cases from CBI. The CBI had submitted joint closure Report on July 4, 2019 in all the three cases.

The Punjab Police SIT, led by Parmar, was constituted on the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court in January this year. In February, the CBI on the directions of the High Court handed over the documents and files related to the 2015 incidents to the Punjab Police SIT.

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