Dera follower accused of sacrilege, shot dead in Punjab

Chandigarh: Dera Sacha Sauda follower and an accused in the Guru Granth Sahib ‘bir’ theft and sacrilege, Pradeep Singh, was shot dead by five unidentified men on two motorcycles in Punjab’s Kotkapura town when he was going to open his shop.

His gunman also sustained bullet injuries.

Singh was an accused in the theft of ‘bir’ from a gurdwara in Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on June 1, 2015. He was on bail and was provided security.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) is investigating incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 and subsequent violence in the state in which the police force was accused of excesses that left two people dead.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm.

“No one will be allowed to disturb the peace of Punjab. Strict instructions to the civil and police officials to maintain the peace and tranquility of the state,” he said in a statement.

Justice Ranjit Singh (retd), who headed the commission appointed by the previous Congress government into the alleged incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent police firing on protesters, has placed the then Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal, and then DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in dock.

Also, he had castigated the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, whose chief and self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is currently serving a 20-year jail sentence for raping two of his disciples and a life term for a journalist’s killing, for the incident of sacrilege.

Justice Singh made these comments in January on the release of his 423-page book ‘The Sacrilege’ based on his inquiry when he was heading the government set up commission.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal and his father were recently questioned by the SIT regarding the Kotkapura firing case and the case of sacrilege.


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