Gurdwara clash: political parties condemn Admn,threaten mass struggle

The clash at Gurdwara Santsar Sahib,Sector 38 (West),during the encroachment drive on Friday,today prompted several leaders of various political parties to address devotees at the Gurdwara.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: February 1, 2009 12:44:42 am

The clash at Gurdwara Santsar Sahib,Sector 38 (West),during the encroachment drive on Friday,today prompted several leaders of various political parties to address devotees at the Gurdwara.

Leaders of various organisations including the SGPC,Damdami Taksal and other religious heads were also present during the occasion.

While tempers flared and repeated comparisons were made with the invasion of the Golden Temple in 1984,a resolution was passed demanding the release of the youths arrested in the clash.

“The UT Administration has attacked the gurdwara and our guru. The officials of the Administration should apologise. The youths implicated in false cases should be released by evening. If this is not done,we will launch an agitation,” stated the resolution.

President of the local unit of the Akali Dal Gurpratap Riar showed the bullet holes in the gurdwara. He said the drive was an “atrocity” committed by the Administration.

Former mayor and Akali leader Harjinder Kaur claimed that the action taken by the officials was not “right” and warned that if the people’s demands were not met,a mass struggle would be launched.

Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal,meanwhile,termed the Administration’s action as “wrong”.

“The interference of the government in religious places will not be tolerated. If there was a problem,the officials should have talked to the management and then taken action,” said Bansal.

BJP leader Satya Pal Jain echoed similar views. “The situation has been mishandled by the Administration. It is a sensitive issue that should have been dealt with maturely. The issue should be settled amicably without anyone showing false prestige,” added Jain. BSP Convener Harmohan Dhawan stated the modus operandi followed by the Administration was wrong. “They just served a day’s notice prior to the demolition. The situation went out of hand. I,along with a delegation met the Finance Secretary who has given 15 days’ time. This could have been done before the issue gained such proportions,” said Dhawan.

Pritpal Singh,head of the Gurdwara Gur Sagar management,meanwhile,claimed to have received calls from foreign countries as well as heads of other sects who,he said,are “ready for a struggle anytime”. The Administration,meanwhile,issued a statement on Saturday claiming that there was only one small room at the time of acquisition of the area in 1999.

“Subsequently,the management encroached upon the adjoining government land. Recently,they started the construction of a residential block on the first floor consisting of 4 to 5 rooms,” said the statement.

It added,“The enforcement staff of the Estate Office visited the site and asked the management to stop the construction. This was not done. Rather,stones were pelted at the staffers. The Administration is not willing to tolerate encroachments on government land.”

Youths sent to judicial custody
A lower court,on Saturday sent the six persons,arrested after the clash,to judicial custody. The six — Harnek Singh,Satbir Singh,Simarpreet Singh,Gurcharan Singh,Harbhajan Singh and B S Sandhu — were arrested on charges of attempt to murder.

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