A stand-off took place on Friday on the outskirts of Chandigarh as the UT Police prevented Sikh preachers, protesting the police firing that killed two people and the incidents of alleged desecration of the holy book, from marching towards the Punjab chief minister’s residence. The protesters also want the two brothers arrested for the desecration at Faridkot to be released.
The preachers were acting on the first of the nine resolutions they had passed during the bhog (religious) ceremony for two victims. They began their march from the historic Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara earlier in the day before moving towards Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Mohali.
Police have stopped them at the Mohali-Chandigarh border. The stand-off was on at the time of going to press.
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders, Anandpur Sahib MP Prem Singh Chandumajra and Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, reached the spot but were unable to pacify the protesters.
The preachers, led by Ranjit Singh Dhadrian Wale, did not even agree to a closed-door meeting and insisted that talks be held in front of protesting sangat. Both the SAD leaders later accepted a memorandum from the preachers and promised to discuss its contents with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Earlier in the day, the preachers, including Ranjit Singh Dhadrian Wale, Panth Preet Singh, Baljeet Singh Daduwal and other high priests and ragis, including Kewal Singh, former jathedar of Sri Damdama Sahib, Harjinder Singh Srinagar Wale, Gurcharan Singh Rasiya along with members from International Ragi Council, began their march with a prayer meeting at the Fatehgarh Sahib gurdwara.
Ranjit Singh Dhadrian Wale told the media that the preachers have three major demands for the chief minister.
“We want an FIR against policemen, with their names, who opened fire on peaceful protesters. We also want the two brothers from Panjgrain Khurd, who have been falsely implicated in the Faridkot desecration, to be released. And third, we want the real conspirators behind the recent desecration incidents to be caught,” he said.
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