The dharna of Namdhari Panthak Ekta Action Committee has entered day 17. The followers of Thakur Dilip Singh have been sitting outside the mini-secretariat amid rain and hot weather. Two days back one Bakshish Singh also sat on fast unto death.
Apart from this, five followers had sat on hunger strike for five days at a stretch from day one. Now fourth such group has started hunger strike.
The committee members are demanding that gurdwaras of Namdharis should be open to one and all, and not banned for a particular group of Namdharis. Though this demand was put forth before Police Commissioner Pramod Ban, he has categorically stated that it was not a matter in which police had to intervene. “There is a problem between the two groups of Namdharis. Police cannot intervene in this matter at all. A resolution has to be found by the two groups themselves. However, we are here to ensure peace and to avoid any law-and-order problem, and we are ensuring it,” said the police commissioner.
However, Navtej Singh, from the action committee, said, “If the police have no role in this matter, why are they not allowing us to take water from Namdhari Gurdwara located on Jail Road? Every citizen has the right to enter a religious place and if we cannot even take water from the gurdwaras, what to talk of entering inside to worship. This is a clear-cut indication that police are helping the Bhaini Sahib headquarters and are not at all in a mood to resolve this issue.”
After the death of Satguru Jagjit Singh in December 2013, two groups of Namdharis were formed. One was supporting Thakur Uday Singh, who is the Satguru now, while the other was supporting Thakur Dilip Singh, elder brother of Uday Singh. According to the action committee members, Dilip Singh was the actual successor after Satguru Jagjit Singh.
Since then, a number of clashes between the two groups have also broken out at Amritsar, Yamunanagar and Ludhiana.