Sikh organisations have alleged that the district administration and Bathinda police have denied permission for holding Panthic convention during Baisakhi celebrations on April 13.
Organiser and district general secretary of United Akali Dal, Gurdeep Singh Brar, said the reason behind the denial was that the venue selected by Sikh bodies was situated opposite to the venue where the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had decided to hold the Baisakhi political conference.
He added that earlier, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had refused to allot them land for the convention and now, police and administration had denied permission when they had already got permission from a gurdwara for holding the convention.
The organisers belong to the same Sikh bodies that had held the Sarbat Khalsa at Chabba village in Amritsar on November 10.
The local administration, however, denied that they had asked the Sikh bodies to shift their venue.
“After denial from the SGPC for providing land, we got a written permission from Gurdwara Banga Nanaksar Sahib for holding the Baisakhi convention on its land and started making arrangements. But, now the police have started making unnecessary hindrances in our scheduled convention,” he said.
Brar added that moreover, they had demarcated the land well before the SAD had decided to hold a rally at the venue facing it.
“We have assured the police that law and order will be maintained at every cost. Moreover, we are not holding a Sarbat Khalsa as it is going be a Panthic Baisakhi conference, which we have been organising every year,” he said.
He reiterated that Sikh organisations had a democratic right to hold any convention but the police and administration had adopted a hypocritical approach at the behest of the government.
Meanwhile, refuting the allegations, deputy commissioner Basant Garg said they had not denied permission to any Sikh organisation for holding a Baisakhi convention.
“If they have permission from the owner of the land, they can show the same to the administration and go ahead with their programme,” he said.
AAP says go to gurdwara first, then come to rally
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said the AAP rally on Baisakhi was open to every Punjabi. “But I exhort you to first go to the gurdwara and pay obeisance there and then come for our rally. Sukhbir Badal wants people to come to his rally first and then pay obeisance at the gurdwara. But we are not worried about our supporters getting lost!” he said.