Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday appeared before the Punjab Police’s special investigation team (SIT) probing the 2015 Kotkapura police firing when he was the deputy chief minister and held the home portfolio.
Sukhbir appeared for questioning at the Punjab Police Officers’ Institute building in Sector 32, Chandigarh, amid a show of solidarity by the senior leadership of the party. All Shiromani Akali Dal core committee members and MLAs were present at the venue.
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The three members of the SIT, led by additional director general of police (ADGP), vigilance, LK Yadav are questioning Sukhbir, it is learnt.
Initially, the police did not allow the senior SAD leaders to go inside the building where Sukhbir was to be questioned. Later, the security officials relented and allowed the core committee members and the MLAs to go inside the building, where they were seated in a hall, it is learnt.
Badal Senior questioned on June 22
On June 22, Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was questioned at his official MLA flat in Chandigarh on his role in the police firing case.
The SIT had earlier summoned Badal for questioning at a rest house in Mohali on June 16, but he requested to put off the date of his appearance, citing ill-health and old age. The date of the questioning was rescheduled and it was decided that the SIT will question the five-time Punjab chief minister at his official MLA flat in Chandigarh.
Parkash Singh Badal was the chief minister when the three incidents of sacrilege took place in Faridkot district in 2015, leading to resentment and protests and triggering the police firing. The state government set up the new SIT, led by Yadav, to probe the Kotkapura incident following the Punjab and Haryana high court’s directions on April 9 that quashed a report by the previous SIT.
The previous SIT, led by special DGP Parbodh Kumar included then IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. It had also questioned Parkash Singh Badal in the same case in 2019.