Kotkapura firing: Punjab govt to constitute fresh SIT

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Chandigarh, Apr 26 (PTI) The Punjab Cabinet on Monday decided to set up a fresh SIT to investigate the 2015 Kotkapura police firing incident, days after the High Court here quashed the probe report submitted to it.

The court had ordered to constitute a fresh SIT to probe the case, prompting resignation by IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who headed SIT investigation into the case involving firing at people protesting the desecration of a religious text in Punjab's Faridkot. The state government too had come under fire over the issue with its own leader—Amritsar MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu--criticising it and demanding that the SIT probe into the case be made public. “It has been decided that a new SIT will be formed in compliance with the judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said addressing the media on Monday evening.

He said a resolution in this regard was also passed by the Cabinet.

According to the decision at the meeting, the council of ministers reiterated its commitment to bring to book the culprits of the sacrilege and subsequent police firing incident.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on April 9 had quashed the SIT probe report. In his 89-page judgment made available last Friday, Justice Rajbir Sehrawat ruled that the investigation into firing incident conducted by IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh is not free from 'blemish' and his 'personal malice and malafide functioning by totally usurping the powers of SIT was demonstrated on record'.

The judge had also said the investigation conducted by him suffered from 'malice, irrationality and absurdity' and had also said that the former IG was a person who indulged in 'misuse of his official position to further his designs'.

The court had further ruled that he had gone to the extent of 'manufacturing the statements of witnesses to suit his designs'.

The HC said the new SIT will not report to any state executive or police authority but only to the magistrate concerned.

It said the investigation shall be concluded as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of six months from the date of the constitution of the SIT. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK