Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in Chandigarh probing the police firing on mobs protesting the 2015 incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab.
Akshay arrived at the airport in the morning and went straight to the Punjab Police headquarters at sector-9, Chandigarh. He refused to talk to reporters.
The SIT had given Akshay Kumar the option of appearing before it in Chandigarh instead of Amritsar. The Punjab Police SIT had earlier summoned Akshay 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.
The Punjab SIT wanted to question Akshay Kumar as his name figures in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report on the desecration incidents.
The Justice Ranjit Singh commission report, which was tabled in the Punjab Assembly in August, had given a reference of a letter written (October 9, 2017) to it by former MLA Harbans Jalal claiming that a meeting took place between Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal at the actor's flat in Mumbai in 2015 in connection with the release of the Dera head's movie "MSG".
The meeting was allegedly held before the Dera chief was pardoned in a blasphemy case. The movie "MSG" was not released in Punjab in September 2015 because of an edict by the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, against it.
The actor has already denied arranging any meeting between former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. He has also denied having ever met Sirsa-headquartered Dera's chief, who is currently serving a 20-year jail term in two rape cases.
Akshay 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.
On Monday, Sukhbir told SIT members, that he had never met Akshay outside Punjab when he was asked by the SIT members whether he had met the actor in Mumbai.
The summons are related to the investigation of cases involving various incidents of sacrilege in 2015, police had said.
The summons had been issued under the section 160 of the CrPC, requiring the attendance for investigation, relating to the Bargari sacrilege case and the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing incidents.
The summons state, "The presence of the aforesaid person is necessary for the purpose of inquiry into the above-mentioned offence” and the person summoned needed “to give such information relating to the said alleged offence as he may possess.”
The 5-member SIT was set up by the state government in September this year.
(Witn inputs from PTI)