'84 riots probe and clemency for Bhullar not a Sikh issue alone' | punjab | Hindustan Times
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'84 riots probe and clemency for Bhullar not a Sikh issue alone'

punjab Updated: Feb 21, 2014 23:44 IST
Kamaldeep Singh Brar
Kamaldeep Singh Brar
Hindustan Times
1984 riots

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which has given wings to the political ambition of the Sikh hardliners in the state is also getting good response from the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Suda followers.

Its newly-appointed Punjab convener Dr Sumel Singh Sidhu, however, claims that it has broad-based support from all sections of the society.

A Delhi-based teacher of history, Sidhu reiterates that he has the support of all communities, including followers of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda.

"We are in touch with Dera followers and are getting a good response," said the professor, a native of Chack Bakhtu village in Bathinda.

However, he claimed that the party would not be canvassing or lobbying for support before the dera head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is facing charges of rape and murder.

"It is the Dera's prerogative to decide on who to render its political support to. Our concern is the common man (Aam Aadmi)."

On whether it will be difficult to manage these two pressure groups of Sikh hardliners and the dera followers, he said: "We do not see any community as a vote bank. Children of both communities visit the same government schools that are in atrocious shape."

Sumel did his schooling from Guru Nanak Dev Senior Secondary School, Bathinda, and Government School Buchu.

Maternal grandson of famous Punjabi novelist Jaswant Kanwal, Sumel also has a Masters in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

When asked if AAP could be a platform for Sikh hardliners, he said: "AAP has been creating a new brand of politics which will accommodate leaders who work for justice. It is ironical that we the riots as only a problem for a community. Narrow sectarian politics is a problem. We welcome all who fight for justice."

"For the AAP, the issue of clemency for Devinderpal Singh Bhullar and the issue of SIT probe in 84 riots are not Sikh issues. We feel natural justice should had been delivered in these case," said Sumel.

Simranjit Singh Maan said alliance with AAP could be considered Bathinda: Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Maan has said that his party appreciated AAP's stand on 84 riots and clemency for Devinderpal Singh Bhullar. "AAP should be appreciated for its stand on issues concerning Sikhs."

On any possible alliance, he said: "The AAP has not contacted us for any such alliance. However, if the need arises, the possibilities cane be considered."

He said that the party had submitted a memorandum to Punjab governor Shivraj Patil against the Modi rally on Sunday.