An order from the temporal seat at the Akal Takht on Tuesday asked ex-militant Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who is protesting at Gurdwara Amb Sahib in SAS Nagar for the release of former comrades, to end his hunger strike.
In the order announced after more than four hours of discussion with Sikh priests, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh appreciated the efforts of Khalsa for the freedom of six Sikhs still held prisoner for the assassination of chief minister Beant Singh in 1995, and said since the process of release was on, the hunger strike must end immediately and the struggle carried on by getting back to fitness.
"Gurbaksh Singh is an asset to Sikh Panth; even his life is not his own but Panth's," said Giani Gurbachan Singh, adding: "The order keeps in mind the sentiments of Sikh Sangat." Satisfied with the efforts, so far, from the Punjab government and the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Takht directed the SGPC to keep working with Punjab's ruling party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), and other Panthic organisations for the release of Sikh detainees.
The clergy said Khalsa's effort needed to be made successful. The man is on hunger strike since November 14. Takht Kesgarh Sahib jathedar Giani Mall Singh, Darbar Sahib head granthi Giani Jagtar Singh, and Darbar Sahib granthis Giani Rawel Singh and Giani Mann Singh also attended the meeting.
Late, says Dal Khalsa
Radical organisation the Dal Khalsa has said that the Akal Takht's decision is too late and contrary to the Sikh aspirations. "Had the jathedar taken the lead from the first day, the issue would have been resolved by now," Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh stated in a press release issued in Amritsar on Tuesday, adding: "The Hukamnama for the release of detainees should have gone to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president."