Dhian Singh Mand, who was ‘appointed’ interim jathedar of the Akal Takht at the radicals’ Sarbat Khalsa, has been named in the FIR (first information report) registered on the complaint of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for the ruckus at the Golden Temple on Diwali.
Mand had been booked earlier for sedition by the Amritsar (rural) police after the November 10 ‘Sarbat Khalsa’.
Confirming the development, assistant commissioner of police (ACP, central) Amandeep Brar said, “The city police have named Mand in the FIR that was registered on Monday at the E division police station.”
On the complaint of SGPC manager Partap Singh, the police had booked Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Amritsar) leader Jaskaran Singh and United Akali Dal (UAD) leader Satnam Singh Manawa for allegedly creating a ruckus at the Golden Temple on Diwali. Several unidentified persons had also been booked.
After procuring CCTV footage of the shrine and questioning Manawa as well as Jaskaran, the police included Mand’s name in the FIR.
Brar said, “We will soon arrest Mand in this case as well.” In his complaint, Partap Singh had alleged that on November 11 (Diwali), around 250 persons, including Jaskaran and Manawa, had gathered at the Golden Temple complex. They were armed with sharp-edged weapons and sticks and had raised slogans in favour of ‘Khalistan’ and against the Punjab government, he alleged.
The SGPC managers and task force members tried to stop them from going to the Akal Takht, but they threatened them and brandished their weapons. Seeing this, many pilgrims fled the shrine, the complainant added.
The police had registered a case under sections 295 (injuring or defiling religious place and working with intent to insult religion of any class), 427 (mischief or causing damage to property amounting to Rs 50 or above), 511 (punishment for committing an offence punishable with life imprisonment), 506 (criminal intimidation), 148 (rioting with deadly weapons), 149 (unlawful assembly for committing a common offence) and 153-A (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race and place and committing acts against harmony) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh had faced protests at the Golden Temple on Diwali, while Mand had reached the shrine in the evening and given a parallel ‘sandesh’ (message) to the Sikh community.