The Akal Takht has blamed the recent violence over the sacrilege of a ‘bir’ (copy) of Guru Granth Sahib in Faridkot district on the state government and demanded that the policemen responsible for the cane charge and firing on Sikh protesters at Kotkapura be dismissed and put on trial.
“The ‘zulum’ (atrocities) at Kotkapura reminds us of the period of Nadir Shah and his acts of grave violence against Sikhs,” the Takht, highest temporal seat of Sikhs, stated in a press release issued on Friday after a meeting of the Sikh high priests here. The clergy, presided over by Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, condemned the cane charge and firing, saying: “the police action against peaceful protesters involved in prayers was uncalled for. Moreover, their protest was genuine, as sacrilege had hurt them deeply. Protests started after a copy of the Sikh holy book had been found scattered in the streets of Bargari village in Faridkot district.
The high priests demanded that the policemen involved in cane charge and firing be booked and arrested; the cases registered against Sikh protesters be withdrawn; and the detained agitators be released. They said the situation would not have gone out of hand had the administration reacted in time after the ‘bir’ was reported stolen.
They have directed Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to give financial support to the next of the kin of the two protesters killed in police firing, and pay the medical expenses of all injured agitators. They asked the SGPC to give even legal assistance, if required, to the protesters slapped with criminal cases.