Akshay Kumar has denied meeting the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim who is in jail.
Reports suggest that Akshay was summoned by a special investigation team (SIT) probing the incidents of firing by police at anti-sacrilege protesters in Punjab’s Faridkot district three years ago. The team is probing the firings in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan after pages from the Guru Granth Sahib were found torn in Bargari in the state in 2015. Two people were killed in the firing in Behbal Kalan.
According to a report in HT online, the justice Ranjit Singh Commission on the sacrilege incidents said a meeting between former deputy chief minister Sukhbir and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was held at Kumar’s flat in Mumbai in connection with the release of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief’s film ‘MSG’.
The meeting was held before the pardon given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a blasphemy case, the report said.
“I learnt from social media at some point that Gurmeet Ram Rahim resided for a while at some place in my locality Juhu, in Mumbai, but we never ever crossed each other’s paths,” the actor said in a statement.
“Over the years, I have dedicatedly made films promoting the Punjabi culture and the rich history and tradition of Sikhism through films like Singh is King, Kesari (based on the battle of Sarhagarhi), etc. I am proud of being a Punjabi and have the highest regard for the Sikh faith. I shall never do anything that would even remotely hurt the sentiments of my Punjabi brothers and sisters, for whom I have the utmost respect and love,” he said.
The team has also summoned Punjab’s former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Badal has been asked to appear before the SIT, headed by inspector general Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, on November 16. Sukhbir has been summoned on November 19 and Kumar has been asked to come on November 21 to the Circuit House in Amritsar.
The five-member team was set up by the Captain Amarinder Singh-led state government in September this year, soon after the notification to withdraw the investigation of sacrilege incidents of the Guru Granth Sahib from the Central Bureau of Investigation was issued.