Raising pro-Khalistan slogans, Sikh radicals forced Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar to abruptly end his address, even as Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh did not deliver his customary ‘sandesh’ (message) to the community on the concluding day of the three-day Shaheedi Jor Mela in Fatehgarh Sahib on Monday.
Trouble started shortly after the ‘bhog’ of ‘akhand paath’ at Gurdwara Jyoti Sarup on Monday. As soon as Makkar began his address to the community around 2pm, members of radical groups started raising slogans. Makkar managed to speak for a while, even as protesters showed him black flags. SGPC task force then took Makkar and Giani Gurbachan Singh to a room, which was guarded by cops.
The Akal Takht jathedar, who has been under fire from radicals over the controversial decision to pardon the Dera Sacha Sauda head (the pardon was later revoked), decided not to address the gathering. Later, SGPC executive member Karnail Singh Panjoli tried to pacify the protesters, but the radicals didn’t relent.
Earlier, during a pre-event gathering, ‘Safar-e-Shahaadat’, at Gurdwara Thanda Burj on Friday, some people had protested against Makkar, forcing him to leave the dais.
When contacted, Makkar said anti-social elements were trying to disturb peace, so he had decided to cut short his address. Despite repeated attempts, Giani Gurbachan Singh could not be contacted for comment.