Even as Punjab Police on Friday booked the “jathedars” appointed by the radical Sarbat Khalsa for sedition, their engagement with the police has been an old one. The three—Dhian Singh Mand, Baljit Singh Daduwal and Amrik Singh Ajnala—have had several cases registered against them, some involving charges of murder and attempt to murder.
Mand: Mann’s right hand
Mand, the “acting jathedar” of the Akal Takht—who is supposed to remain so till militant Jagtar Singh Hawara takes over—was booked under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) (TADA) Act four times during the peak of militancy from 1986 to 1992. He was booked for murder thrice during the same period. Besides, he was charged for attempt to murder and under various sections of the Arms Act. In an FIR, he has also been accused of inciting others to work towards creation of Khalistan. Over the years, Mand has been acquitted in nine of the 10 cases he faced while one has been reported as untraced.
Considered to be Simranjit Singh Mann’s right hand, Mand of Saide Ke Rahela village in Ferozepur shifted to Chowk Mehta in Amritsar after three of his brothers were killed, allegedly in police action. In 1989, he contested the Ferozepur parliamentary polls as an Independent and won hands down. However, his political career since has slumped and he has lost five elections. In 2002, he lost as Panthic Morcha candidate in the assembly polls getting a mere 1,481 votes. In the 2007 assembly polls, he could manage only 916 votes.
Daduwal: Vocal against Sirsa dera
Forty-year-old Daduwal is a matriculate. Of Kotshamir village in Bathinda, he studied religion at the Damdami Taksal from 1990 to 1994. He became a pracharak in 1999 and has been aggressively vocal against the Dera Sacha Sauda. He has seven cases registered against him in Haryana and other seven to eight in Punjab. These include three cases with charges of attempt to murder, including firing at the police, besides a host of cases under the Arms Act. He has also been accused of giving instigating speeches. He is also accused of criminal trespass in a case registered in Sangrur where he allegedly tried to take possession of land forcibly. While Daduwal has been acquitted in a few cases, at least three cases have been reported as untraced by the police. In the other cases, Daduwal is facing trial at various courts in Sirsa, Fatehabad, Faridkot, Barnala, Sangrur and Mansa.
Ajnala: student of Damdami Taksal
Fifty-three-year-old Ajnala is of Ratta Khera village in Amritsar and is said to be a student of Damdami Taksal, Chowk Mehta, during the headship of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Following the death of Baba Thakur Singh—who succeeded Bhindranwale—Ajnala was among those who claimed to be his successor and formed a third front of the Taksal at Ajnala. He is associated with Sri Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee since 2005 and has a dozen-odd cases against him. These include charges of sedition, waging a war against the nation and inciting besides five cases of attempt to murder. Two of these cases have been withdrawn by the government, while in the others he has been acquitted.