In an embarrassment to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government, local senior party leaders had to skip the akhand path ceremony organised to pray for peace and harmony in the state, following opposition by protesters.
In view of the incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib at various places, Sukhbir recently asked all district presidents to organise akhand path in their areas.
Only former minister Bibi Upinderjit Kaur went inside the gurdwara, that too in a covered face, as angry protesters held a protest outside the gurdwara and barred the entry of Akali leaders.
Protesters, led by Narinder Singh Khusropur, district president of SAD (Amritsar), who protested outside the gurdwara, didn’t notice the bibi as her face was covered. When they came to know about this, they decided to stop her on her return, but escorted by cops she left through the back door.
Senior SAD leaders, including Bholath MLA Bibi Jagir Kaur, party district president Jarnail Singh Wahid, and district planning committee chairman Sarabjit Singh Makkar stayed away. Sources said police and SAD workers had informed the senior leaders that protesters were not letting Akali leaders enter the premises, following which they didn’t visit the place.
There was tension outside the gurdwara after Kapurthala market committee chairman Ranjit Singh Khojewal and block samiti chairman Daljit Singh tried to enter the gurdwara, but the protesters prevented them from entering it. The protesters told the Akali leaders to stay away and visit the place only after resigning their posts in the SAD.
While addressing the gathering, Khusropur said the SAD government is responsible for the desecration of the holy book. “Where were the Akali leaders, who are now coming for the akhand path, when our living guru, Guru Granth Sahib, was desecrated?” he asked.
Upinderjit Kaur, refuting allegations of her secret entry to the gurdwara, said she had entered the gurdwara along with other committee members without facing any opposition and left from the back door as the roads in front of the gurdwara were blocked.
Wahid said he had to organise the akhand path at Phagwara and Nawanshahr so he requested Upinderjit to hold the path at Kapurthala.