Sacrilege cases: Actor Akshay Kumar appears before Punjab Police SIT
(Sourced from PTI)
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar today appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Punjab Police, which is probing the 2015 police firing incidents at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura in the state, following cases of sacrilege in Faridkot. Soon after his arrival at the airport, the actor headed straight to the Punjab Police headquarters at sector-9 in Chandigarh, where the security has been stepped up.
The actor refused to talk to reporters at the airport. The SIT wants to question Kumar as his name was mentioned in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege incidents. The SIT had earlier asked him to appear before it on November 21 at the Amritsar circuit house. However, police later allowed the actor to appear before the SIT at Chandigarh.
The report was tabled in the Punjab Assembly in August. It gave reference of a letter written (October 9'17) to it by former MLA Harbans Jalal claiming that a meeting took place between Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal at Kumar's flat in Mumbai in 2015 in connection with release of Rahim Singh's movie 'MSG'.
The meeting was allegedly held before the Dera chief was pardoned in a blasphemy case. The movie 'MSG' was not released in Punjab in September 2015 because of an edict by the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, against it.
Kumar has denied arranging any meeting between Badal and the Dera Sacha Sauda sect head. He has also denied having ever met the Sirsa-headquartered Dera head, who's currently serving a 20-year jail term in a rape case. Kumar had issued the denial on November 12, after the SIT summoned him along with former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.
"It has come to my knowledge that some rumors are being loosely made on social media about my involvement with a person named Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the context of a fictitious meeting involving Sukhbir Singh Badal," Kumar had said in a tweet.
"With all humility, I would like to state the following facts. I have never ever met Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in my life, anywhere," Kumar had said. He continued, "I learned from social media at some point that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh resided for a while at some place in my locality Juhu in Mumbai but we never crossed each other's paths."
The SIT has already questioned former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh. When asked by the SIT members whether he had met the actor in Mumbai, Sukhbir, on Monday, told them that he has never met Akshay outside Punjab. The summons are related to the investigation of cases involving incidents of 2015 sacrilege, police had said.
The summons had been issued under the section 160 of CrPC, requiring the attendance for investigation, relating to the Bargari sacrilege case and the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing incidents. The 5-member SIT was set up by the state government in September this year.