Shiromani Akali Dal members walk out of Punjab Assembly as Congress alleges Badals knew of Behbal Kalan firing, sacrilege

Members of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked out of the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday after the Congress attacked the party over the alleged role of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in the killing of two Sikh youths in police firing in 2015. The duo was killed in Behbal Kalan near Kotkapura city when Sikhs were protesting against an incident of sacrilege in the district.

File image of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. AFP

File image of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. AFP

After walking out of the Assembly, SAD leaders held a mock Assembly session at the waiting area of the House. While SAD members conducted this mock session, Congress leader and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu alleged that the Badals knew and were part of the "drama" triggered by the sacrilege, reported CNN-News18.

In the Ranjit Singh Commission report tabled in the Assembly on Monday, Parkash Singh Badal was indicted in the 2015 Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege case. The Congress had set up the one-member panel in April 2017 to investigate a number of incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and other religious texts. Justice Ranjit Singh looked into the incidents that took place in the village of Burj Jawahar Singh Wala and Bargari, as well as the firings in Behbal Kalan in 2015.

A day after the state government tabled Ranjit Singh's report over the desecration of religious text, the Punjab Assembly witnessed an uproar, with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and members of the SAD trading charges. SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal was "aware" of the proposed police action to disperse the protesters in Kotkapura with force, the commission's report said. It also held the police responsible for using force in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan, describing it as "unprovoked, unwarranted and uncalled for". The commission's report added that the police had opened fire in Behbal Kalan, killing two youths, "without any warning and without taking permission from civil authorities".

On Tuesday, the House was adjourned for 15 minutes as members of the SAD protested against the 14 minutes allotted to them to speak on the report, which according to them was inadequte. When the Speaker announced the time allocated to the parties, the Akali Dal raised its objection. Former minister Bikram Singh Majithia reiterated the SAD's demand for more time to speak on the report indicting his party chief.

Before the Assembly session began on Tuesday, Amarinder Singh had tweeted that the "conspiracy hatched during the Akali Dal regime by desecrating" the religious text would be exposed in the Assembly through live proceedings of the House. In response, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal tweeted that the Opposition was not given equal time to speak in the House.

With inputs from PTI and 101Reporters

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Updated Date: Aug 28, 2018 18:24:22 IST

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