Amid rising public anger, Sikh radical outfits on Sunday declared an open war with the Parkash Singh Badal government and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) by announcing a nine-point resolution to intensify protests against sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib.
Thousands of slogan-shouting Sikhs converged at Bargari village of Faridkot — where torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib were found — for the bhog ceremony of Gurjit Singh and Krishan Bagwan Singh who were killed in police firing at Behbal Kalan village while protesting the sacrilege.
Road blockades were lifted by protesters after over two weeks. Sikhs in saffron turbans and black bands were seen heading to Bargari since early morning. A nine-point resolution was read out by radical preacher Baljeet Singh Daduwal and passed by hardliners leading the protests, including Ranjit Singh Dhandrian Wala, Panthpreet Singh Khalsa, Amrik Singh Ajnala, Harjinder Singh Majhi, Daler Singh Keheri and Simranjit Singh Mann of SAD (Amritsar). Opposition parties — Congress, AAP and BSP leaders — shared stage with Sikh jathebandis (outfits).
The religious preachers announced a Sarbat Khalsa (people’s congregation) on November 10 to discuss all issues. Alleging that religious institutions such as SGPC and Akal Takht were discredited, the speakers alleged that the two bodies did not function independently as per the tradition of Sikhism and should be “freed from clutches of the ruling Badals”.
“Three of the Takhts (seats of power) of SGPC are dominated by wrong people and one family has command over the golak (treasury). All need to be freed,” Amrik Singh Ajnala, head of radical outfit Damdami Taksal, said. The leaders demanded immediate elections of the SGPC as “it can no longer be trusted” and jathedars of the Akal Takht (the highest temporal body of the Sikhs).