The family of former militant Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who is on an indefinite fast since November 14 last year, has targeted Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh for "not keeping his word" on getting Sikh prisoners held under TADA and UAPA (Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act ) released from jails across the country.
"Akal Takht 'sewadar' Giani Gurbachan Singh will be responsible if any harm, physical or mental, comes to Khalsa," said Jasbir Kaur, the wife of Khalsa, and his son, Jujhar Singh.
The two, along with their relatives, were here on Friday to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple and participate in the 'akhand paath' ceremony for the 'chardi kala' (well-being) of Khalsa. The religious ceremony was held at the gurdwara of Baba Gurbakash Singh near the Akal Takht.
Talking to the media later, the two squarely blamed Giani Gurbachan Singh for the "state" Khalsa was in following his second indefinite hunger strike for the same cause, that is, release of Sikh detainees who have completed their jail sentences. The two kept referring to Giani Gurbachan Singh as "sewadar" of the Akal Takht and not as "jathedar".
"It was on Giani Gurbachan Singh's assurance (for getting the prisoners released) that Khalsa had ended his fast on December 27, 2013. But he did nothing concrete for their release," Jujhar said.
Despite being told about the limitations of a religious leader on getting this demand accepted, the mother-son duo stood their ground and kept blaming the jathedar. However, later, they did refer to the matter being taken up by the chief minister with union home minister Rajnath Singh.
"The CM, the Akal Takht sewadar and the Sant Samaj did make an attempt to take up the matter with the home minister, but it was a half-hearted approach. The CM talks about the release of prisoners with the home minister, while his own DGP makes it clear that no prisoner will be released," Jujhar said.
He even questioned the DGP's statement while seeking to know as to why Gurmit Singh Pinky, a former police inspector, who was arrested on murder charges, was let off by the Punjab government. When pointed out that the Supreme Court ruling staying the release of convicts serving life terms, came a month after the release of Pinky, Jujhar said, "If the government's intentions are clear, our demand can be met."
The two alleged that the government had used force to prevent Khalsa from coming to Amritsar for attending the 'akhand paath' ceremony. Clearly this was a violation of Khalsa's human rights, they added.
The two claimed that while coming to Amritsar on Thursday, the vehicle in which they were travelling was stopped and searched at several places. "The cops treated us as if we were hardened criminals," they added.
After the 'akhand paath', the two left for Lakhnaur near Ambala, where Khalsa is sitting on an indefinite fast. Giani Gurbachan Singh was away to Delhi since Thursday.