The Tribune – AAP’s Harvinder Singh Phoolka resigns as MLA

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 12 October 2018. Aam Aadmi Party MLA Harvinder Singh Phoolka on Friday resigned as legislator from the Punjab Assembly, expressing unhappiness over the state government’s alleged “failure” to initiate action against former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and retired DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in sacrilege incidents.

“I have sent my resignation as legislator of Punjab Vidhan Sabha to the Speaker through e-mail,” the Dakha MLA told PTI over phone.

However, Speaker Rana K P Singh is yet to take a call on the resignation, Assembly officials said.

If his resignation was to be accepted, AAP’s strength in the Vidhan Sabha will drop to 19 MLAs, eight of whom have formed a rebel group led by Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

Phoolka, who is fighting 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases in courts at New Delhi, had been asking the state government to initiate action against Badal and Saini in connection with police firing on people protesting at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan against sacrilege incidents.

On three occasions, he had said he would resign if action is not taken on the findings of Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh Commission.

According to the report of the Commission, that was set up to probe the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib, Badal and Saini were “aware” of the proposed police action to disperse the protesters at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura using force.

It held that the police opened fire in Behbal Kalan, where two people were killed, “without any warning and without taking permission from civil authorities”. Phoolka had earlier resigned as the Leader of Opposition saying that he could not do justice with the post as he was fighting anti-Sikh riot cases.

In September, Phoolka had alleged that due procedure was not followed by the police before it opened fire on the protesters.

He said his resignation would put pressure on the state government to act on findings of the Justice (retired) Ranjit Singh Commission.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/aap-s-phoolka-resigns-as-mla/667149.html

Advertisements

The Tribune – Mixed response to SGPC stand

Neeraj Bagga, Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 1 October 2017. The SGPC’s decision that its president Kirpal Singh Badungar will not appear before a government-appointed commission probing sacrilege cases has evoked a mixed response.

United Akali Dal (UAD) president Bhai Mohkam Singh said the SGPC move would help those involved in desecration go scot-free. He said the stand proved that the then SAD-BJP government had allegedly played a role in such incidents.

He said most of the desecration cases had occurred in 2015 and 2016 and the Akali government had remained in power for nearly a year and a half since then. He also accused the the government of implicating those Sikhs in false cases who had been searching for culprits.

Former SGPC secretary Manjit Singh Calcutta said the Akal Takht Jathedar never appeared before any court or commission.

However, the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission had summoned only the SGPC president and sought record of the Akal Takht. He said the SGPC was constituted after the promulgation of an Act and its president could appear in a court, adding that its former presidents had done so in the past.

Meanwhile, Jathedars of three Takhts, including Akal Takht, and other Sikh religious institutions, endorsed the SGPC’s decision.

Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said the Akal Takht was the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs and an independent institute whose record could not be shared.

Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, Damdami Taksal head Giani Harnam Singh Dhumma, Nihang organisations head Baba Balbir Singh, too, supported the SGPC’s decision.

Dhumma accused the Congress government of hatching a conspiracy to interfere in the affairs of the Sikh community.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) backed the SGPC’s decision to reject the commission. “This (setting up the commission) is a conspiracy hatched by the Congress to weaken top Sikh institutions. We warn the commission to desist from interfering in the affairs of these institutions,” the DSGMC said.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/mixed-response-to-sgpc-stand/475999.html