A WEEK after the Bargari march, thousands gathered again at Bargari village in Faridkot Sunday to remember the victims of Behbal Kalan firing who were killed three years ago in October 2015.
While both factions of AAP reached Dana Mandi here and joined the Bargari Insaaf Morcha’s Sunday event, which was being led by parallel Jathedars of the Sarbat Khalsa, Congress ministers visited Sarawan and Behbal Khurd villages from where the two police firing victims — Gurjit Singh and Krishan Bhagwan — hailed, respectively.
It was for the first time that both factions of AAP shared the stage, even though they had come separately. The October 7 Bargari March took place after a call given by leader of the AAP dissident group, Sukhpal Khaira. Sunday’s programme was named ‘Shahidi Samagam’ and organised by Bargari Insaaf Morcha, which has been sitting on a dharna at the Dana Mandi since June 1 under the leadership of parallel Jathedars of Sarbat Khalsa.
From the stage, the parallel Jathedras signalled that if needed, a second ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ can also be called in case the Congress fails to punish the culprits of firing and sacrilege cases. A Sarbat Khalsa was called by Panthic organisations in November, 2015 — a month after desecration and firing incidents at Amritsar in which parallel Jatehdars had been announced.
Baljeet Singh Daduwal, parallel Jatehdar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, said,”Though Dera followers have been arrested in the case of theft of Guru Granth Sahib which had happened in Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara in June 2015, but government has not announced this officially. We want official statement from government about this case. In addition to this, we also want punishment to all culprits who ordered firing and also who carried out the orders. Till that time, our ‘Insaaf Morcha’ will continue in Bargari. Sunday marks 136th day of this Morcha. If needed, we can call for second Sarbat Khalsa as well….we have not yet decided about when will we call for the second Sarbat Khalsa. It is just a message to the government.”
The October 7 Bargari March took place after a call given by leader of the AAP dissident group, Sukhpal Khaira.“Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh wants to ensure punishment to all those behind the incident without leaving any room for loopholes. No officer will also be spared” said Bajwa while addressing people at village Sarawan.
Ministers assured that pending works in both villages, including construction of memorials in the name of the victims, village stadium, will be completed. After the family of Krishan Bhagwan Singh complained about the condition of the road leading up to their house, the ministers promised a pucca road within 10 days. The ministers also accepted the demand of a grain market in Sarawan village. MLAs Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon and Harminder Singh Gill, and former MLA Muhammad Sadiq were also present during these meetings. After the Congress leaders left, families of both the victims went to Dana Mandi to be part of the ‘Shahidi Samagam’.
Sukhraj Singh, son of Krishan Bhagwan Singh, said,”Congress leaders came to our house and they spoke about development works in the village. They said that culprits will be punished, but gave no deadline as the ministers stated that punishment will be given after SIT’s report for which there was no time frame. However, we went to Dana Mandi where bhog of a separate Akhand Path was held Sunday, but we did not share our views from the stage.”
Leader of Opposition and AAP MLA Harpal Cheema, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann also addressed the gathering from the stage. Cheema said,”The SIT has been formed to delay the punishments and Congress government is giving time to delay punishments to the culprits including Badals, while the Morcha is getting stronger and stronger day by day which indicates that everyone wants to get Badals punished.”
Others who spoke from the stage were parallel Jathedars Amrik Singh Ajnala, Dhyan Singh Mand, and Simranjeet Singh Mann, who is the president of SAD (Amritsar). On the stage the picture of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was displayed prominently, describing him as the “great saint of 20th century”. Congress’s Muktsar district president Gurmeet Singh Khudian, son of Congress MLA Darshan Singh Brar, Kamaljeet Singh Brar, were present on the stage.