In a significant development, a delegation of Damdami Taksal and Sant Samaj led by Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma on Wednesday met Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, demanding immediate removal of the jathedars, including Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh.
They said that being president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Sukhbir Badal should direct the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to remove the Takht jathedars as they had lost the confidence of Sikhs following the pardon granted to Sirsa dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
The delegation submitted a memorandum to the chief minister and demanded the immediate arrest of those behind the incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib.
Both Badal and Sukhbir assured them to look into this. The delegation thanked the Badals for removing Sumedh Singh Saini as DGP. They also demanded that the Punjab Police officials involved in firing on Sikh protesters be shifted.
Dhumma was accompanied by religious leaders, including Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode and Sant Lakha Singh Nanaksarwale. Senior SAD MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhundar and Ranjit Singh Brahmpura were also present.
“Pardon by the jathedars to the Sirsa dera head was given in a secretive manner, and was withdrawn following backlash from the Sikh community. Despite this, there is still unrest in the community and the jathedars are facing tremendous opposition so much so that they are unable to perform their duties, so they should be removed,” Dhumma said in the memorandum.
Dhumma also demanded that the special investigating team (SIT) headed by senior Punjab Police officials be disbanded as those who had ordered the firing were its part, and a new one constituted. He said it had been two weeks since the incident but the SIT had failed to reach a conclusion. He also demanded the unconditional release of brothers Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh, who had been arrested for the sacrilege.