Akshay Kumar appears before SIT in Chandigarh in 2015 Bargari sacrilege case

File photo of Akshay Kumar. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 21, 2018, 09.50 AM (IST)

Akshay Kumar was in Chandigarh and appeared before a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing police firing on mobs protesting the 2015 incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab.

The Bollywood actor had an option of appearing in Chandigarh for the case instead of Amritsar. He was earlier summoned to Amritsar circuit house on November 21 by the Punjab Police.  SIT member and Inspector General of Police Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh had said on Tuesday, “We have given him (Akshay Kumar) the freedom to appear here (in Chandigarh).”

Akshay was called by the SIT as his name is listed in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on the desecration incidents. The actor has thus denied arranging any meeting between former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, as is being alleged. 

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Akshay has also denied meeting Sirsa-headquartered Dera's chief, who is currently serving a 20-year jail term in two rape cases.

After he was summoned, Akshay issued a denial on November 12. He tweeted: “It has come to my knowledge that some rumours and false statements 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.”

He continued: “With all humility, I would like to state the following facts. I have never ever met Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in my life, anywhere. I learnt 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.”

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The SIT has questioned former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh. Sukhbir confirmed Akshay’s claims as he said that he has never met Akshay outside Punjab when asked if he had met the actor in Mumbai.

For those who are unaware, The Justice Ranjit Singh commission report, which was tabled in the Punjab assembly in August, had referred to a letter written on October 9, 2017 to it by former MLA Harbans Jalal, claiming that the Dera chief and the former deputy CM had met at the actor's flat in Mumbai in 2015 to facilitate the release of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's movie MSG in Punjab.

The meeting was allegedly held before the Dera chief was pardoned in a blasphemy case. The movie MSG could not be released in Punjab in September 2015 because of an edict by the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, against it. The summons had been issued in connection with the Bargari sacrilege case and the police firing at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura.