SIT Probes Akshay Kumar’s Role in Ram Rahim & Badal Meeting
Akshay has been accused of arranging a meeting between former Deputy CM Badal and Dera Sacha Sauda chief.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar was quizzed for nearly two hours on Wednesday, 21 November, by the Special Investigation Team in Chandigarh. He was questioned for his role in 2015 Bargari sacrilege row in Punjab. Kumar was summoned by the SIT probing the police firing on mobs protesting the 2015 incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib.
The actor denied all charges against him, including charges of arranging a meeting between former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, reported News18.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the special investigation team is now examining Bollywood star Akshay Kumar’s purported role in greasing the wheels in terms of a reported meeting between Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim and Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal, with regard to the release of his film, Singh is Bliing.
According to the reports by News18, 42 questions were earlier put to Kumar in a questioning by SIT, spanning for nearly two hours.
“I don’t know why I’ve been dragged in this case. All allegations of the meeting looks like a script of a movie. I was in Punjab in 2011 for a performance, that’s when I happened to meet Sukhbir Badal.”Akshay Kumar’s statement
Denying all charges sternly, Kumar clarified that he was busy with the shooting of his movies Gabbar is Back and Baby.
“I have never met Sukhbir Singh Badal outside Punjab. It’s being said that the meeting happened at my home in 2015 but at that time I was busy shooting for movies Baby and Gabbar is Back,” the statement submitted by Akshay Kumar read, reported News18.
He has reportedly told the SIT that his name has been dragged into the row unnecessarily, News18 reported.
“I’ve never met Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Neither me nor my wife Twinkle Khanna are followers of him. Twinkle had tweeted a satirical post on Ram Rahim due to which our name is being linked.”Akshay Kumar’s statement
The actor has also denied the allegation that he arranged the meeting between former deputy CM and Dera chief Ram Rahim. He has told the SIT that he does not know the Dera chief, the media report added.
Soon after his arrival at the Chandigarh airport, the actor headed straight to the Punjab Police headquarters at Sector 9 where security has been stepped up.
Kumar refused to talk to reporters at the airport.
The SIT had given Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar the option of appearing before it in Chandigarh instead of Amritsar on Wednesday.
Punjab Police SIT had earlier summoned Kumar to Amritsar circuit house on 21 November.
“We have given him (Akshay Kumar) the freedom to appear here (in Chandigarh),” SIT member and Inspector General of Police Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said.
HOW IS AKSHAY KUMAR INVOVLED?
Akshay has been accused of arranging a meeting between former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
The actor, whose name figures in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on the desecration incidents, has already denied arranging any meeting between Badal and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
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, supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, against it.
Actor had also denied having ever met the Sirsa-headquartered Dera's chief, who is currently serving a 20-year jail term in two rape cases.
Kumar had issued the denial on 12 November after the SIT summoned him along with former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.
HOW HAS ASKHAY DEFENDED HIMSELF?
“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,” Akshay had said in tweet.
“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.”Akshay Kumar tweeted
WHO ALL HAVE BEEN NAMED?
The SIT has already questioned former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh.
Sukhbir told SIT members on Monday, 19 November, that he had never met Akshay outside Punjab when asked if he had met the actor in Mumbai.
The Justice Ranjit Singh commission report, which was tabled in the Punjab Assembly in August, had referred to a letter written on 9 October 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 summons had been issued in connection with the Bargari sacrilege case and the police firing at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura.
The five-member SIT was set up by the state government in September this year, soon after issuance of the notification to withdraw investigation of sacrilege incidents of Guru Granth Sahib from CBI.
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