The SGPC on Tuesday found itself in the centre of a row for honouring suspended police officer and an accused in 2015 Kotkapura police firing case, Paramraj Umranangal, during his visit to the Golden Temple.
Umranangal was honoured at the community kitchen premises of Golden Temple on Sunday for offering some ration.
SGPC member Bhagwant Singh Sialka and additional manager, Golden Temple, Gura Singh presented a siropa to Umranangal. “He had come as a devotee and we honoured him in that capacity. He hadn’t come as a police officer. He had donated some ration and was honoured for that,” said SGPC member Sialka.
Asked if every devotee is honoured for donations, Sialka declined to comment.
Two were killed in Behbal Kalan and several injured in Kotakpura police firing on Sikh protestors in October 2015 during the Bargari sacrilege protests.
The SIT formed by Punjab government to probe the firing incident had arrested Umranangal in February 2019. He got bail in the case last year.
Justice Ajit Singh Bains (retd), who heads a human rights NGO in Punjab, said: “Umranangal is accused of killing Sikh youths in fake encounters. He is also accused in Kotkapura firing case and indicted by Justice Ranjit Singh Commission. Inquiry against him was also ordered by Punjab and Haryana High Court in fake encounter case of Gurnam Singh Bundala in which another Sikh youth was murdered”.
Human rights activist Sarabjit Singh Verka said: It seems SGPC is trying hard for an image makeover of Umranangal. We all know that Umranangal enjoyed good relations with SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, whose party control the SGPC.”
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