Breaking his silence, Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma on Monday virtually admitted to his supporters’ role in the May 17 attack on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale near Ludhiana.
“Some of the attackers are students of the Taksal. Even the vehicles belong to the Taksal. But I was unaware about all this,” said Dhumma, who was recently engaged in a spat with Dhadrianwale. Soon after the attack, fingers were being pointed at Taksal’s supporters.
The Damdami Taksal is a fundamentalist Sikh seminary dating back to 18th century. It was headed by militant preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from 1977 till June 1984 when he was killed in the Operation Bluestar at the Golden Temple.
Talking to mediapersons at the Taksal headquarters in Chowk Mehta, 40 km from here, Dhumma also announced full support, including legal, to the assailants.
“The attack on Dhadrianwale is the result of his objectionable remarks on Taksal’s ‘dastar’ (turban) and false propaganda being carried out by him inside and outside the country,” said Dhumma.
“The propaganda was deeply hurting Taksal followers. Dhadrainwale must understand that remarks made against me are remarks made against the entire organisation. Understandably, Taksal followers were angry,” he added.
Dhumma also warned Dhadrianwale that if he did not stop his propaganda against the Taksal, situation would get tense further.
On a query, Dhumma said he was ready to join investigation. “If someone calls me, I will definitely go. But it has come to light that police were unnecessarily torturing the accused. I demand that the probe must be conducted in a transparent manner,’ said the Taksal head.
On a question that Dhadrianwale had given the government an ultimatum to reveal the mastermind behind this attack, Dhumma said, “Let police complete their probe. If Dhadrianwale has so many problems, then he must come out and name the mastermind.”
Flaying political parties for queuing up to meet Dhadrianwale after the attack, Dhumma said, “The chief minister went to meet him. The deputy CM, Congress and BJP leaders too followed suit. Where were all these leaders, when Dhadrianwale made remarks against me.”
On ‘sarkari sant’
“He (Dhadrianwale) says that I am a ‘sarkari sant’. I challenge him to prove it. I have no government vehicle or protection,” said Dhumma.