Hours after Navjot Singh Sidhu visited a gurdwara in Faridkot, Punjab’s advocate-general issued a statement saying that the state Congress chief is ‘obstructing the functioning of the government’ and his remarks are derailing government’s efforts to ensure justice in the ‘drugs matter’ and the ‘sacrilege cases’.
Advocate-general APS Deol’s statement on Saturday came after Sidhu tweeted that he prayed that those involved in the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 be given exemplary punishment that will be “a deterrent for generations to come”.
“Navjot Singh Sidhu is obstructing the functioning of the government and office of the advocate general, His repeated utterances seek to derail the earnest efforts of the state government to ensure justice in the ‘drugs matter’ and the ‘sacrilege cases’. Sidhu is spreading misinformation to gain political advantage over his political colleagues,” the statement read.
The cricketer-turned-politician’s gurdwara visit came a day after he withdrew his resignation as Punjab Congress chief and targeted his party-led state government over the sacrilege case.
Sidhu has also been pressing for Deol’s removal citing that the senior criminal lawyer had defended ex-DGP Sumedh Saini in cases related to police firing in Bargari sacrilege.
Sidhu offered prayers at the Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara in Faridkot from where a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib was stolen in 2015. “Ardas at Gurudwaara saheb Burj Jawahar Singh wala, Bargari …. Praying for exemplary punishment for those involved in the sacrilege of Guru Granth saheb ji … should be a deterrent for generations to come!” Sidhu said in a tweet.
Ardas at Gurudwaara saheb Burj Jawahar Singh wala , Bargari …. Praying for exemplary punishment for those involved in the sacrilege of Guru Granth saheb ji … should be a deterrent for generations to come ! pic.twitter.com/Cm4jXU8kH5— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) November 6, 2021
He also interacted with some locals at the gurdwara over the issue. During a press conference on Friday, Sidhu had questioned the Charanjit Singh Channi-led state government over the steps taken for the delivery of justice in sacrilege cases and making public a special task force report in drug cases in the past 50 days.
Sidhu also said that he would assume charge as Punjab Congress chief the day the new advocate general and a panel for the appointment of the new director general of police is appointed. The Amritsar East legislator has opposed the appointment of state Advocate General A P S Deol and Director General of Police Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, considered as Channi’s choices.
While Sahota was the head of the special investigation team (SIT) formed by the previous SAD-BJP government to probe the sacrilege incidents, Deol had represented former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, who headed the state police six years ago, in cases related to sacrilege incidents and police firing on protesters. The previous SAD-BJP government had handed over the three cases — theft of a ‘bir’ (copy) of the Guru Granth Sahib from the Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara, putting up of handwritten sacrilegious posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala, and torn pages of the holy book being found at Bargari — to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The Congress government, however, had handed over the probe to an SIT of the Punjab Police in September 2018 after the state assembly passed a resolution withdrawing consent to the CBI to investigate these cases.