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New commission set up to probe sacrilege cases

Chandigarh : Rejecting as “inconclusive” the report of the Justice Zora Singh (retd) Commission, the Punjab Government today constituted a fresh Commission of Inquiry, headed by Justice Ranjit Singh (retd), to investigate all cases of sacrilege in the state. The government, through a notification issued by the Department of Home Affairs and Justice, has included all sacrilege incidents, including those involving Guru Granth Sahib, Bhagavad Gita and Quran, within the ambit of the new Commission’s terms of reference. The commission, set up under Section 11 of the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, has a six-month tenure. Justice Ranjit Singh (retd), a former Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, will try to establish the role played by various persons in the incidents of sacrilege in Faridkot district and other places in the state, an official spokesperson said. The commission has also been tasked with an investigation into the firing incident at Behbal Kalan village (Faridkot), in which two persons were killed, and the anti-sacrilege protest at Kotkapura (both occurred on October 14, 2015).The notification follows the state government’s conclusion, after taking into consideration various factors, including the Advocate General’s advice, that the Justice Zora Singh (retd) Commission — set up by the previous government — “has not answered the very substance of the reference i.e. an inquiry into the incidents of sacrilege and the role of the police force.”

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