Announcing a protest march from Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, to Bathinda in support of former militant Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh has asked Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh to keep his promise on the release of Sikh detainees.
“Last year, Giani Gurbachan Singh had ended Khalsa’s ‘fast-unto-death’ by assuring him that he would make efforts for the release of Sikh prisoners. Now, the Akal Takht jathedar must keep his word and lead from the front,” said Nandgarh, addressing a press conference here on Tuesday.
Reiterating his demand for the release of Sikh detainees, Khalsa is currently on another fast-unto-death, which began in November last year.
The Punjab government had removed Nandgarh’s security last month after he locked horns with the Akal Takht jathedar and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) over the Nanakshahi calendar row. He had also accused the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal of forcing him to quit as the Takht Damdama Sahib jathedar.
Nandgarh is now trying to corner Giani Gurbachan Singh on the Sikh prisoners’ issue which has already put the Akal Takht and the SGPC on a sticky wicket.
“We will organise a protest march from Takht Damdama Sahib to Bathinda in support of Khalsa. Every Sikh should come forward to support him,” said Nandgarh.
Regarding the Sant Samaj’s allegations of defying the Akal Takht diktat on the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh, Nandgarh said, “I want to ask Sant Samaj leaders if they have ever implemented the code of conduct issued by the Akal Takht in their deras. They run deras like their personal property and have their own code of conduct, which are often in contradiction with the Akal Takht. Besides, I have been following the Akal Takht diktat of 2003, when then jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti had told Sikhs to follow the original Nanakshahi calendar,” he said.