After resigning from his post on Sunday as Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar, Giani Iqbal Singh claimed that Sikh jathedars had edited the Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s alleged apology letter sent to Akal Takht in September 2015.
Talking to The Indian Express, Iqbal Singh said that then Talwandi Sabo Jathedar Ginai Gurmukh Singh had played lead role in the editing of the letter.
“Giani Gurmukh Singh had invited his close confidant from Delhi and edited the letter, who inserted the words ‘Khima Da Jachak’ (the one who is seeking pardon) in the letter sent by Dera head. Earlier the words ‘Khima Da Jachak’ was not there in the letter,” said Iqbal Singh.
Interestingly, words ‘Khima Da Jachak’ were not in the main content of letter and it is written over the signatures of Dera head for the closing of letter.
Giani Iqbal Singh was one of the five jathedars in 2015 at the time of issuing pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda head.
The five Sikh jathedars take key decisions for the community, however, only three of them are appointed by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) .
Jathedars of Takht Patna Sahib Bihar and Takht Hazur Sahib Nanded in Maharashtra are not directly appointed by the SGPC. The claims of editing of pardon letter by Iqbal Singh have come at time when Special Investigation Team, formed by Punjab government to probe Behbal Kalan and Kotakpura firing incidents, has been planning to involve the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh in probe to find alleged link between apology to Dera head and firing on Sikh protester in October 2015.
Iqbal Singh said, “I was called for the meeting on September 24, 2015. I was not informed about agenda of meeting and I was told just before the meeting that some letter had come from the Dera Sirsa head. I was told that there is a huge unrest in Punjab as, in many homes one member is Sikh and other is follower of Dera Sirsa. I was told that issuing pardon to Dera head would bring peace in state.” He added, “Giani Gurmukh Singh also added a world ‘Khima Da Jachak’ to the letter on the computers placed in Akal Takht secretariat and he had called his close confidant from Delhi to do the editing.”
“I had signed the edict issuing pardon to Dera head under the impression that it would bring peace in Punjab. I was not aware of the ground situation. Later, I was called again on October 16, 2015 and then this edict was revoked,” said Iqbal Singh. When contacted, Giani Gurbachan Singh declined to make any comment on claims of Giani Iqbal Singh. “I am outside Punjab. I will speak on this after my return,” he said.