SGPC additional secretary Daljit Singh Bedi justified the task force’s action, saying that the seven shops that were to be demolished were empty and already in the possession of the SGPC.
“A couple of months ago, we had formed a committee which had taken up the issue of building a serai in the area with Satbir Singh and others. While seven shopkeepers vacated after the SGPC gave them sites near Gurdwara Ramsar, Satbir refused to vacate three shops held by his family. He even laid claim to the seven other shops,” said Bedi.
“The three shops run by Satbir’s family were not touched… But they had already collected bricks, swords and sticks… Our men got injured while defending themselves from the attack initiated by them.”
But Satbir’s son Harsimran Singh alleged that the task force men were armed and initiated the violence. “If the SGPC action was legal, it should have sought police help. We had already filed a case in the court of the district magistrate about possession of the properties that the SGPC targeted. They could have waited for the outcome of that case.”
DM Ravi Bhagat confirmed, “A case has been filed under the Public Premises Act by some persons after the SGPC asked them to vacate the shops. Proceedings are yet to begin, though.” Asked if the SGPC action was illegal, he said, “I have to study the case in detail.”