Punjab: Akal Takht asks govt to arrest Behbal Kalan ‘murder’ culprits
Akal Takht jathedar made the statement while delivering his ‘sandesh’ (message) to the Sikh community at the Golden Temple on Bandi Chhod Diwas (Diwali) on Thursday evening.punjab Updated: Oct 21, 2017 10:19 IST
In a significant development, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh asked the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government to “immediately” arrest the culprits of the “murder” of two Sikh men who were killed in police firing at Behbal Kalan village in Faridkot district in 2015.
The victims were protesting against the incident of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib that took place at Bargari village.
The jathedar made the statement while delivering his ‘sandesh’ (message) to the Sikh community at the Golden Temple on Bandi Chhod Diwas (Diwali) on Thursday evening.
The statement assumes significance as the incident took place when the state was ruled by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. The coalition had then come under fire for not even booking the cops who ordered the firing at the Sikh activists assembled at Behbal Kalan to protest the sacrilege incident.
Giani Gurbachan Singh has never made such a demand from the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs.
“Despite many directions issued from the Akal Takht to prevent sacrilege of holy birs of Guru Granth Sahib, such incidents continue to occur sadly. The managements of the gurdwaras should make proper security arrangements, including installation of CCTV cameras. Moreover, the government must arrest culprits of sacrilege and the Behbal Kalan ‘murder case’ immediately”, said the jathedar.
RAISES ISSUE OF SIKH PRISNORS
As Bandi Chhod Diwas is celebrated by the Sikh community to commemorate the release of sixth master Guru Hargobind along with 52 Hindu kings from the Gwalior fort, the Akal Takht jathedar related this day with the issue of Sikh prisoners.
“Several Sikh prisoners are still behind bars even as they have completed their jail terms. The Centre and the Punjab government must ensure their release without any conditions,” he said.
CALLS FOR PANTHIC UNITY
The jathedar also called on various Panthic organisations to shun differences and strengthen the “Panthic unity.”
His statement comes in the wake of the act of parallel jathedars, appointed by Sikh hardliners during their ‘Sarbat’ Khalsa in 2015, of reading out their separate ‘sandesh’ on the day.
ASKS PANCHAYATS TO ACT AGAINST LIQUOR VENDS
Giani Gurbachan Singh asked panchayats to pass resolutions to remove liquor vends from villages and send them to the authorities concerned. “For this purpose, women should come forward.”
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Kirpal Singh Badungar, Golden Temple head granthi Giani Jagtar Singh, Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma and Sikh preacher Bhai Ranjit Singh Gauhar also addressed the congregation on this occasion.
JATHEDAR GIVEN HIGH SECURITY
Amid the threat from the parallel jathedar and his supporters, the jathedar was given high-level security. The police and other intelligence agencies left no stone unturned to prevent any untoward incident at the shrine. Even senior police officers escorted the jathedar from the Akal Takht secretariat to ‘Darshani Deodi’ from where he gave his address.
The personnel of Punjab Police and its intelligence wings, central intelligence agencies including Intelligence Bureau and SGPC task force, were deployed all around Akal Takht.
The massive security deployment caused inconvenience for devotees who turned up at the shrine to commemorate the day.