Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh on Wednesday welcomed the decision of the Union home ministry to delete the names of 36 Sikhs from the ‘blacklist’ of the ministry that debars them from coming to India.
In a statement, the jathedar said that this was a welcome step and is being appreciated by all Sikhs.
“In fact the ‘blacklist’ should be done away with,” he added.
The ‘blacklist’ contains the names of a number of NRI Sikhs who had criticised the Indian government in public over ‘Operation Bluestar’ in June 1984. They were debarred from entering India and all Indian missions were given instructions not to grant visas to the blacklisted persons.
The jathedar also sought the release of all Sikhs who were under detention since the period of militancy in Punjab and have completed their jail terms.
Makkar condemns desecration of scripture
Shiromani gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar on Wednesday condemned the recent incident of alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib at a gurdwara in Nawanshahr district and sought the arrest of those responsible.
In a statement issued by SGPC additional secretary Daljit Singh Bedi, Makkar has asked the district administration to take the incident seriously and arrest those responsible. Bedi said that the incident took place in a gurdwara at Jhander Kalan village in Nawanshar recently.
A page from the scripture had been torn off and then cut into small pieces which were found scattered near the gurdwara.
Bedi disclosed that a 3-member probe committee headed by SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur had visited the village and found that the shrine where the incident occurred was managed by a lone ‘granthi’ The ‘granthi’ too was found lacking in his duties and was not present when the probe committee was in the shrine.
Taking note of this, the SGPC has appointed a ‘sewadar’ to assist the ‘granthi’ in the discharge of his duties. Meanwhile the ‘saroop’ of the scripture kept at the village gurdwara had now been moved to a shrine in nearby Banga town.