Even as Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s movie MSG-2 was screened in Bathinda on Friday, a Sikh body burnt an effigy of Akal Takht Jathedar Gaini Gurbachan Singh for forgiving the dera head.
“It was for the first time when Akal Takht Jathedar’s effigy was burnt. Whenever an Akal Takht Jathedar has taken any decision against Sikh sentiments, he has to face consequences,” said Sukhdev Singh, who led the burning of Jathedar’s effigy. They belonged to the Damdami Taksal (Ajnala) faction, which assumes that slain Sikh militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala is still alive.
He said, “We are conscious that nobody burns effigies of the Akal Takht Jathedar and President. But Gaini Gurbachan Singh has crossed the limit. We will not tolerate him anymore.”
Many organisations opposed the decision of the Akal Takht Jathedar. Akhand Kirtni Jatha, known for its good ties with the SAD(B), some leaders of the Sikh Students’ Federation (Mehta) and few SGPC members, too, criticised Giani Gurbachan Singh and the four other high priests of Sikhs for forgiving the dera head.
The dera neither confirmed nor denied existence of the letter produced by the Akal Takht Jathedar. The letter is reportedly an apology by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The Sant Samaj criticised the decision to pardon Singh. “We strongly condemn this decision,” said Harnam Singh Dhuma, Sant Samaj chief.