The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) members, including those with affiliation to the ruling SAD, have termed the government’s move to remove Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini as a “mere eyewash”.
Although the committee had criticised Saini’s handling of the ongoing crisis in the state, they said all police personnel involved in the death of two youths in firing last week must be punished.
“Sikh sentiments will not be pacified as long as the DIG who ordered lathicharge and attack on peaceful protesters is not punished. One family (Badal) is ruling the party and taking all the decisions contrary to the expectations and feelings of the people. It is going to be catastrophic as there is immense anger among SAD workers,” said Karnail Singh Panjoli, a SAD leader.
At an executive meeting of SGPC in Fatehgarh Sahib on October 16, the committee’s chief, Avtar Singh Makkar, had slammed the police force, saying they were responsible for letting the situation go out of control
The SGPC members had also criticised the role of then DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, Bathinda range DIG Ranbir Singh Khatra and Ludhiana police commissioner P S Umranangal for opening fire at peaceful protesters in Behbal Kalan.
Makkar had called on Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and a closed-door meeting was held late on Saturday at the CM’s residence in which Saini’s removal was also discussed, said a source.
Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, SGPC, general secretary, who recently resigned from SAD Political Affairs Committee, too, termed the move as an “eyewash”.
“I have left SAD and have no connection with the party anymore, but I am still an SGPC member. It is our right to demand action against all policemen who took no action when theft of the Bir (book) was reported in Faridkot in June despite the registration of an FIR. It is a deep-rooted conspiracy against the Sikhs and the DGP alone was not responsible for it. Action against one policeman is not justice. The Badal clan cannot escape people’s anger with just the replacement of DGP,” he said.