Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar has sought a meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh to discuss some of the long-pending demands of the Sikhs with him.
In a communique to the Union minister that was released to the media here on Monday, Makkar said that the Sikh community had high expectations from the central government. “The foremost demand was to ensure justice to those who had lost their kith and kin during the ‘84 massacre of Sikhs following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi, he stated in the letter.
The SGPC demanded that the ‘84 riots cases should be disposed of in a speedy manner. Justice must be ensured and the guilty must be punished, he added.
Another demand that Makkar proposes to discuss with the Union minister is with regard to the release of those Sikh detainees who had completed their jail sentences or had been behind the bars for a very long time as their cases were still pending in the judicial courts.
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh have already sought the release of Sikh detainees. The jathedar has indicated that this is the foremost demand of the Sikh community.
NANAKSHAHI ROW: PANTHIC PARTIES TO MEET JATHEDAR
A number of ‘panthic’ (Sikh) groups will be meeting Giani Gurbachan Singh on the New Year’s day to urge him to implement the ‘original’ Nanakshahi calendar of 2003 and to reject the demand of the ‘Sant Samaj’ of reverting to the traditional Bikrami calendar.
Notably, the meeting of the Sikh high priests to discuss the calendar row is scheduled for January 2 at the Akal Takht.
These panthic groups will be banking on the support of Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, the jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib. The jathedar is a staunch supporter of the 2003 Nanakshahi calendar. His security was recently withdrawn by the state government, a move that is being seen as a step to persuade Nandgarh to quit or support the Bikrami calendar.
PROTEST AGAINST ARTICLE 25 (B)
Announcing the programme for January one, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the organisation’s youth wing, the Sikh Youth of Punjab (SYP), would hold a peaceful sit-in and a march in the city to demonstrate against the Article 25 (b) of the Constitution that dubs Sikhs as Hindus.
SAD’S ANTI-DRUG PROTEST TAMASHA: DAL KHALSA
The Dal Khalsa has dubbed the proposed protest against drug smuggling by the ruling SAD along the border with Pakistan as a ‘tamasha’. It said that those who themselves are involved in the drug trade have no right to protest.