Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar arrived at the Punjab Police headquarters in Chandigarh on Wednesday and appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to record his statement in connection with the Bargari sacrilege case. Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal were also summoned in connection with the case. They will appear before the SIT on November 16 and 19, respectively, in Amritsar.
Bargari sacrilege case: Actor Akshay Kumar arrives to appear before the Special Investigation Team(SIT) in Chandigarh. pic.twitter.com/ycBywkkwUN— ANI (@ANI) November 21, 2018
Two people were killed in police firing at Behbal Kalan after a series of sacrilege incidents in Punjab in 2015. The SIT is probing police the firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in Faridkot. The actor's name was mentioned in Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege incidents.
According to the report, a meeting between former deputy chief minister Sukhbir and Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in connection with the release of latter's movie 'MSG' was held at Akshay's flat in Mumbai.
The meeting was held before the pardon given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a blasphemy case. However, Akshay had denied all the claims.
On November 11, the summons had been issued under Section 60 of the CrPC, requiring attendance at investigation, relating to the Bargari sacrilege case and the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing incidents, the release said.
The sacrilege incident had triggered a statewide outrage after a ‘Bir’ (copy of Guru Granth Sahib) was stolen from a gurdwara at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on June 1, 2015.
On October 12, 2015, torn pages of the ‘Bir’ were found scattered in front of a gurdwara at Bargari village.
In June 2016, there were massive protests after an unidentified man gunned down Gurdev Singh, a dera follower, at his grocery shop at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village of Faridkot.
After the summons, the Bollywood actor had said that he “never, ever” met jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
Issuing a statement on Twitter, Akshay Kumar said: “I learnt from social media at some point that Gurmeet Ram Rahim resided for a while at some place in my locality Juhu, in Mumbai, but we never ever crossed each others paths.”
“Over the years, I have dedicatedly made films promoting the Punjabi culture and the rich history and tradition of Sikhism through films like Singh is King, Kesari (based on the battle of Sarhagarhi), etc. I am proud of being a Punjabi and have the highest regard for the Sikh faith. I shall never do anything that would even remotely hurt the sentiments of my Punjabi brothers and sisters, for whom I have the utmost respect and love,” he said.