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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sarbat Khalsa Jathedars raise the heat on Captain, set a deadline for arrests

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh has been given a month's ultimatum by the Jathedars to arrest the accused in cases of desecration and theft of Guru Granth Sahib.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: June 2, 2017 5:53:02 am
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.  PTI Photo

Sarbat Khalsa-appointed chiefs (Jathedars) of three Sikh Takhts on Thursday trained their guns on Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh, giving him a month ultimatum to arrest the accused in cases of desecration and theft of Guru Granth Sahib.

At a gathering in Faridkot’s Bargari on Thursday, the Jathedars passed five resolutions reminding Amarinder of his poll promise to bring to book the guilty in these cases, which include theft of Guru Granth Sahib from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village, desecration incidents in Bargari and other places, action against those involved in death of two Sikh protestors during police firing in Behbal Kalan in October 2015. Three Sarbat Khalsa Jathedars present at the gathering were Dhian Singh Mand (Akal Takht), Baljit Singh Daduwal (Takht Damdama Sahib) and Amrik Singh (Takht Keshgarh Sahib).

In another resolution, the entire Sikh community was urged to reach Akal Takht on June 6, Operation Bluestar anniversary. To avoid a standoff like last year on June 6 between SGPC and Sarbat Khalsa appointed Jathedars, the SGPC has agreed to host Sarbat Khalsa Jathedars at an Akal Takht event.

Meanwhile, SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar asserted that he was willing to do everything to “ensure peace”.

A leader associated with organisers of Sarbat Khalsa-2015 said that SGPC president was urged that during the June 6 event the “sandesh” (message to Sikh community) on Bluestar anniversary should be read out by head granthi of Akal Takht and not by SGPC appointed Akal Takht jathedar. He argued that this should be done in view of presence of two “parallel” Akal Takht Jathedars at the anniversary, one appointed by the Sarbat Khalsa and other by SGPC. “If that does not happen, Mand will also make an address,” the leader said.

Daduwal, however, said: “I am not aware of this proposal. We are going to observe the anniversary and Jathedar Dhian Singh Mand would read out sandesh.”

Claiming that he will get the matter sorted out, Badungar said: “This is an event to pay homage to the martyrs. There cannot be any pre-conditions. (SGPC-appointed) Akal Takht (Jathedar) would read out the message for the community as has been the practice.”

Meanwhile, nearly 4000 policemen from Punjab Police, including personnel from Punjab Armed Battalions, are likely to be deployed to maintain law and order. At least seven companies of paramilitary forces will also be deployed.

Amritsar Commissioner of Police S S Srivastva told that five companies of paramilitary forces had already reached Amritsar.

A senior officer in the intelligence wing of Punjab Police said that no preventive arrests are likely this year. “The Sikh outfits have indicated that they would ensure that the anniversary is peaceful. Rest depends on how things unfold,” the officer said.

Call for Amritsar bandh

Radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa has given a shutdown call for Amritsar on June 6. Dal Khalsa clarified that the call was only for business and educational institutions and there would be no stoppage of transportation.

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