After the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Sikh radicals have jumped on the December 15 bandwagon by announcing to hold a ‘bhog’ ceremony at Bargari village in Faridkot district to mark two months of the killing of two protesters in Behbal Kalan police firing.
Punjab is now set to witness a four-cornered show of strength that day. The Congress is holding a rally in Bathinda to mark the coronation of Captain Amarinder Singh as the state Congress president, while the ruling SAD would hold a counter-rally in Amarinder’s bastion, Patiala. The AAP, which is seeking the resignation of agriculture minister Tota Singh in the pesticide scam, has already announced statewide protests that day.
Addressing a gathering here on Thursday, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann said the ‘akhand paath’ would commence on December 13 at Bargari village and the ‘bhog’ would be held on December 15. It was at Bargari that torn pages of a ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib were found on October 12, triggering protests across the state. Gurjit Singh and Krishan Bhagwan Singh had died at Behbal Kalan village in Faridkot district on October 14 when cops opened fire during a protest against the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib.
Mann was here to take part in a protest over the demand for the release of radicals arrested on sedition charges after the November 10 radicals’ Sarbat Khalsa.
The SAD (Amritsar) chief gave the Punjab government time till December 15 to release the radicals, failing which a plan to intensify the agitation would be announced at Bargari. Mann said a fake sedition case had been registered against the leaders who played a role in organising the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’. Besides SAD (Amritsar) activists, workers of the United Akali Dal and representatives of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (ad hoc) also took part in the protest held on Human Rights Day.