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Days before Punjab votes, SGPC to install portraits of duo killed in 2015 police firing

Welcoming the decision, Sukhraj Singh said, “The installation of the portraits in the museum is a proof that they both were wrongly killed during the SAD government.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
January 23, 2022 1:49:58 am
The SGPC is the apex body of Sikhs and president Dhami had visited me at dharna site.

Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) has decided to install the portraits of the two persons — Krishan Bhagwan Singh and Gurjeet Singh — killed in police firing at people protesting against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in Behbal Kalan, at the Central Sikh Museum. The SGPC executive committee’s decision comes a week after shrine body’s president Harjinder Singh Dhami visited Krishan Bhagwan’s son Sukhraj Singh, who has been sitting on dharna at Behbal Kalan for past 36 days demanding justice for his father.

Welcoming the decision, Sukhraj Singh said, “The installation of the portraits in the museum is a proof that they both were wrongly killed during the SAD government. The SGPC is the apex body of Sikhs and president Dhami had visited me at dharna site. We had asked him to install the portraits. I hope the SGPC will help us get justice for the murder of my father and Gurjeet Singh in police firing.”

It is for the second time in past 36 years that SGPC will be installing the portraits of the Sikh youth killed while protesting sacrilege incidents during the SAD led government.

Four youths — Ravinder Singh Litran, Jhalman Singh, Harminder Singh and Badhri Singh — were allegedly killed by Jalandhar police on February 4, 1986, at Gurdwara Nakodar while were protesting against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib. At that time Punjab was ruled by the SAD and the government was led by chief minister Surjit Singh Barnala. The portraits were installed at the Sikh museum after 31 years in 2017.

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However, the police firing of 2015 is still fresh in the minds of the people. Krishan Bhagwan and Gurjeet Singh were killed in police action on October 14, 2015. After the incident, protesters had blocked all roads and the then SAD-led government had had to remove state police chief, DGP Sumedh Saini. The Akali Dal had to pay a heavy cost and the party was reduced to just 15 seats in 2017. The decision to install the portraits also comes at a time when elections are round-the-corner and SAD is trying to gain back its vote bank.

Meanwhile, Dhami said that the decision to install the portrait has nothing to do with politics. “SGPC had compensated both families in 2015 also. They had achieved martyrdom and so it was their right to find a place in the museum. Now the families are sitting on dharna against the incumbent government for failing to provide justice,” he said.

SAD sees hope in Congress’ failure

The Congress had promised Sikh’s justice into the sacrilege and police firing cases. However, as the sequence of events unfolded after the quashing of Kotakpura police firing report by Punjab and Haryana High court last year. It led to the ouster of the then CM Captain Amarinder Singh from the Congress.

The Channi government appointed Iqbal Preet Singh Singh Shota and APS Deol DGP and Punjab Advocate General, respectively. But they both were soon removed after PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu allegations of their association with the accused in sacrilege and police firing. However, that didn’t result in any development towards bringing sacrilege and police firing cases to book. The failure of Congress to prove the allegations on SAD and its leaders has strengthened the claims of SAD that all the allegations were politically motivated and there was no intention behind the 2015 incident.

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