Even as executive member of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (ad hoc) Baljit Singh Daduwal continues to languish in a Bathinda jail since August 22 for his alleged involvement in various crimes, a section of Haryana panel has denied that the radical Sikh leader was ever part of the movement of a separate committee to run gurdwaras of Haryana.
HSGMC sources said Daduwal was handpicked by the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government at the instance of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa.
“The HSGMC movement was started in 2000 and Daduwal and another religious leader, Gurmeet Singh Trilokewala, they were not associated with it. These leaders never came into the picture during the period of agitations for the separate committee agitation at any point of time and they were fixed in the committee as government’s own men,” said a leader on the condition of anonymity.
Officially, the HSGMC has condemned the arrest of Daduwal by the Punjab police on the “flimsy grounds”.
However, a cross section of Sikh leaders of Haryana said the nomination of Daduwal and Trilokewala on the executive panel of the HSGMC, as they are considered as hardliners, had come as utter surprise to them.
In a release issued by the Haryana government on July 23, Daduwal was shown as only the resident of Ambala whereas rest of the 41 members nominated by the Hooda government had complete addresses.
However, information said Daduwal had no base in Ambala and he remained active at Sirsa and the adjoining Malwa belt of Punjab. Daduwal claimed to have played a lead in the taking possession of a gurdwara at Guhla-Cheeka in Kaithal district on August 6 from the control of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Sources blamed a section of media for portraying that Daduwal was being “victimised” for his association with the HSGMC. “In fact, Daduwal had political aspirations and the Congress leadership wanted to exploit his image of being a radical Sikh preacher who could help them taking on Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal). There were clear indications that Daduwal would play spoilsport against Akalis and for the benefit of the Congress in the recently held Talwandi Sabo byelection,” said a Sikh leader while claiming that Daduwal was even interested to contest SGPC election.
Trilokewala was elected as an independent member of the SGPC from his hometurf at Sirsa but he did not switch over his loyalty to the SAD-controlled SGPC. “But he also never a part and parcel of the HSGMC movement,” said a leader.