On Saturday, the acting jathedar had asked absconding ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh to surrender and cooperate with the police in their probe
Ahead of the Panthic gathering called at the Akal Takht on Monday on the Punjab Police’s crackdown, radical Sikh organisations have taken a strong exception to the latest remark made by acting jathedar of the highest Sikh temporal seat, Giani Harpreet Singh, and raised questions over the upcoming event.
On Saturday, the acting jathedar had asked absconding ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh to surrender and cooperate with the police in their probe.
He had also asserted that the Monday’s event would not be a gathering, but a meeting to which only selected persons have been invited, none of whom is a political figure.
He said that only invitees will be allowed to attend the ‘meeting’ called to chalk out the strategy to deal with the crackdown under which the police have detained scores of youths for their alleged links with the radical Sikh preacher.
Harpreet Singh’s remark had come a day after Punjab Police intelligence chief Jaskaran Singh met him at his residence on Friday.
Former SGPC member and ‘Akal Purakh Ki Fauj’ chief Jaswinder Singh on Sunday said, “Limiting the open invitation to the March 27 gathering to a few organisations raises many questions. Will the outcome be as per the Sikh sentiments in such a situation?”
Meanwhile, the coordination Sikh panel led by former militant leader Daljit Singh Bittu said, “On one hand, the jathedar is convening a meeting against the excesses of the state forces, while on the other he is seeking a security cover from these forces.”
Meanwhile, the Dal Khalsa wrote a letter to the jathedar with its president Harpal Singh Cheema saying, “Our complaint is that you have shown laxity in fulfilling responsibility twice in the matter of the recent incidents. As the time passes, such decisions become a mere formality and bear no impact.”
He said, “Asking Amritpal to surrender does not behove you. This is not the concern of Akal Takht jathedar as per the Sikh point of view. You are not the custodian of the law and order, but of Sikh principles and maryada. You did not take a clear stand on the Ajnala incident during which objections were raised over carrying the Guru Granth Sahib to the police station and then you passed its responsibility onto the Sikh bodies.”
He added, “Instead of taking a timely action against the detentions and arrests of Sikh youths by the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government, you called a gathering after 10 days. Had you given an ultimatum to the government, no need would have arisen to call the gathering.”
Criticising the decision of not inviting any political leader, Cheema said, “This is against the concept of Miri and Piri, according to which religion and politics go simultaneously. Yet, we suggest you give a 24-hour ultimatum to the government during the meeting to release the detained youths and lift the NSA sections imposed on the activists.”
( National )
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