When asked if the duration was being reduced following a letter by death row convict Rajoana, appealing the SGPC not to burst crackers at the Golden Temple on Diwali, Makkar denied it. He said they would go ahead with the programme as no one could dictate terms to the Akal Takht.
A message has been circulating on the social networking sites asking Sikhs not to celebrate Diwali on November 3, as on this day in 1984 a large number of Sikhs were killed. The message asks Sikhs not to burst crackers, adding that there would be no fireworks at the Golden Temple as well.
Meanwhile, sources in the SGPC said investigations were on to find out the person responsible for sending messages on the fake letterhead of the SGPC warning Sikh women against observing the Karva Chauth fast. The miscreant was said to hail from near Gurdaspur, but things would be clear once the investigation was completed, sources said.
Meanwhile, Charanjit Singh, scientific officer, Punjab Pollution Control Board, said that last year also, the duration of fireworks at the Golden Temple was reduced to about half an hour. Its cutting down further this year would reduce air pollution, he added.