Takht Damdma Sahib Jathedar Gaini Gurmukh Singh has levelled serious allegations against former CM Parkash Singh Badal and his son and former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal saying the process to give pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim from Akal Takht had started from their house.
Both Badal and his son had claimed they played no role in the whole episode in which Akal Takht first issued pardon for the Dera head and then revoked it. Gaini Gurmukh Singh had first spoken against Sukhbir, who is also the SAD president, immediately after Dera Sacha Sauda extended support to SAD for Punjab Assembly elections early this year.
To level his latest allegations, Gaini Gurmukh Singh chose Face book Live. In more than half-an-hour-long video, Gurmukh Singh said, “Akal Takht Jathedar Gaini Gurbachan Singh has taken me and Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Gaini Mal Singh in his car to the official house of the then CM Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh on September 16, 2015. Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal and cabinet minister Daljit Singh Cheema were also present there.” “After some informal chat, Parkash Singh Badal told Sukhbir to come to point. We were shown a letter written in Hindi. We were informed it was written by ‘Nikhtu’ (Dera Sirsa Head Gurmeet Ram Rahim),” said Gurmukh Singh.
He said,”No one from three Jathedars were prepared to take some decision in hurry on that letter. Gaini Gurbchan Singh suggested to send this letter to Akal Takht for the consideration by five Jathedars. Initially, it was decided this letter would be made public for all Sikhs just to inform the community before taking any decision on it. But we didn’t bring the letter with us. It was left at the CM’s house.”
“After the meeting, I conveyed to Badals that the way we were called to Chandigarh for the meeting gave an impression that all Jathedars were summoned at their house. I suggested them to not do it again and come to Akal Takht to discuss any issue, like rest of the Sikhs do. Parkash Singh Badal agreed,” says Gurmukh Singh in the video. “Then suddenly, Gaini Gurbachan Singh, Mal Singh and Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar Gaini Iqbal Singh came to by residence in Amritsar on September 23, 2015, and had dinner with me. Then they told me there was hurry to consider the letter sent by Dera Sirsa,” he further says.
“I advised them it was a sensitive matter and we should not rush to take any decision. Meanwhile, Sukhbir made a phone call on the number of Gaini Gurbachan Singh. Sukhbir was also repeatedly calling me and asking why I was not ready to sign it when other Jathedars were ready to accept it. Staff of Sukhbir was also present out of my house and they mounted pressure on me. It went on till midnight,” says Gurmukh Singh.
“… I reminded Sukhbir that any decision in hurry could be rejected by the community. But Sukhbir was not ready to listen.” “I also asked other Jathedars to take a stand against it. But they all were mounting all pressure on me. We tried to find out a middle way and accepted the letter, not the apology. You can read the press note issued by Akal Takht. But media took it as an apology given to Dera head,” says Gurmukh Singh in the video.