SIT gives Akshay Kumar option to appear before it in Chandigarh

    Chandigarh, Nov 20 (PTI) The Special Investigation Team probing the police firing on mobs protesting the 2015 incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab has given Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar the option of appearing before it in Chandigarh instead of Amritsar on Wednesday.    
    The Punjab Police SIT had earlier summoned Kumar to Amritsar circuit house on November 21.
    “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 Tuesday.
    Akshay, whose name figures in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on the desecration incidents, has already denied arranging any meeting between former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
    Actor had also denied having ever met Sirsa-headquartered Dera's chief, who is currently serving a 20-year jail term in two rape cases.
    Kumar had issued the denial on November 12 after the SIT summoned him along with former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. 
    “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 had said on the micro-blogging site.
    The SIT has already questioned former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh.
    Sukhbir told SIT members Monday 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 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, 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.
    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. PTI CHS SUN VSD