A special CBI court in Mohali sent the three accused in the 2015 case of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari of Faridkot and other similar events to seven-day remand of the agency on Friday. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team probing the cases had produced the trio — Mohinder Pal Bittu, Sukhjinder Singh alias Sunny Kanda and Shakti Singh — in court.

They had been lodged at Modern Jail, Faridkot, after a Moga court sent them to judicial custody in a 2011 rioting case in the district. Sources claim that this was a major development in the Bargari sacrilege cases and added that it was only after finding merit in evidence that the Punjab Police special investigation team (SIT) had collected, had the CBI had taken custody of the three suspects.

The CBI is probing three cases — the theft of a ‘bir’ (copy of Guru Granth Sahib) from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village in Kotkapura of Faridkot on June 1, 2015; a poster pasted at Bargari village in the district on September 25, 2015, and the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in the same village on October 12, 2015.

Main accused recorded statement in court last month

On June 20, Mohinder Pal Bittu recorded his statement before a Moga magistrate under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The SIT had claimed that Bittu had thrown the stolen ‘bir’ (copy of the Guru Granth Sahib) into a drain on the Devi Wala road.

“Bittu confessed that he had hatched the conspiracy. After his confession, we started the process to recover the ‘bir’ and will make every possible effort to recover it,” DIG Ranbir Singh Khatra, SIT head, had said then.

To evade arrest, Bittu had allegedly been living in Palampur and running a restaurant.

The case

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.

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