Eknoor Khalsa Fauj — an outfit formed by Sikh clerics — has condemned the Saturday’s killing of two Dera Sacha Sauda followers, a man and his son, at Khanna and demanded a “clean and thorough investigation”.
The outfit founder jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh also rejected the insinuations that Sikh hardliners could be behind the crime and instead said “it could be a ploy to vitiate the atmosphere by Badals who stare at a drubbing in the polls”.
“We are also pained and want the truth to come out,” said Dilbagh Singh, one of the leaders of the outfit who led the group that clashed with the dera followers at Mannawala town near Zira in Ferozepur district last week.
“No Sikh has murdered them; this is a conspiracy of the Badals to vitiate the atmosphere in Punjab and then exploit the situation, knowing that they are losing in the state elections,” Takht Damdama Sahib’s former jathedar Nandgarh, who founded the Eknoor in 2004, told HT.
The statements hold significance in the wake of the Punjab DGP Suresh Arora’s statement: “Prima facie the crime (Khanna killings) appears to be an offshoot of the ongoing conflict between the dera and Sikh radical elements.”
The Khanna killings came close on the heels of two clashes between Eknoor-led Sikh groups and dera followers at Makhu near Ferozepur and Mananwala near Zira, last week. “There is an Akal Takht edict against the dera chief, who is already facing criminal charges. So, the state administration should halt the dera congregations at public places,” said Nandgarh.
Eknoor was formed to put a check on carrying Guru Granth Sahib out of gurdwaras for certain rituals. “This group was formed to safeguard the ‘rehat maryada’ (religious sanctity) of Guru Granth Sahib, which was being used by the ‘dera’ men to exploit the poor in the name of faith,” Nandgarh said.
On recent clashes, Ferozepur district chief of the outfit Himmat Singh said some outsider elements were provoking them by organising ‘naam charcha’ congregations at public places.
Murder of dera follower in June last year still unsolved
Police have failed to solve the murder of Dera Sacha Sauda follower, Gurdev Singh, who was shot dead in June last year at Burj Jawaharsingh Wala village in Faridkot district.
The murder took place in the village from where Guru Granth Sahib had gone missing, followed by desecration of the holy pages at the nearby Bargadi town in October 2015.
So far, police have questioned three people and made one arrest.The only suspect arrested, granthi Gora Singh of Burj Jawaharsingh Wala is in judicial custody. “He has been taken to Ahmedabad (Gujarat) for a lie-detection test,” DIG Ranbir Singh Khatra, who heads the special investigation team formed to solve the case, told HT.
Blurb Eknoor Khalsa Fauj founder Jathedar Nandgarh says it can ploy of the Badals to vitiate the atmosphere