Sikh radicals fail to reach consensus over November 10 congregation

  • Atul Nagpal, Hindustan Times, Fatehgarh Sahib
  • Updated: Nov 06, 2015 10:32 IST
SAD (A) president Simranjeet Singh Mann. (HT PHOTO)

Even after marathon meetings all day, radical groups failed to arrive at a consensus on organising the Sarbat Khalsa (Sikh congregation) on November 10.

The Dal Khalsa and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani), which are on one side, have asked the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and the United Akali Dal (UAD) to convene Sarbat Khalsa at the Akal Takht on November 30 after building a consensus on the agenda. “We want the congregation moved to the Akal Takht, since it is appropriate venue for Sikh historic events,” SAD (Panch Pardhani) leader Harpal Singh Cheema told the media on Thursday here, adding: “It’s not the game of numbers — who could gather how many. It is a representative gathering that reflects the collective will of the community.”

He said his group had asked urged the organisers to go by procedure, guidelines and a concrete agenda, besides engaging the Sikh diaspora. “We wanted the event delayed for 20 days to be able to rope in all Sikh organisations and personalities in India and abroad that wanted to participate,” Cheema added. The radical leader, who met jailed militant Jagtar Singh Hawara in Delhi’s Tihar prison, conveyed his message to SAD (A) president Simranjit Singh Mann that “Hawara also wants the same”.

The ball now was in the organisers’ court, said Cheema, adding: “We are having back-to-back meetings and we will decide on our participation before November 10 for sure.” Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib of the Dal Khalsa; RP Singh of the Akand Kirtani Jatha; Paramjit Singh of the Sikh Youth of Punjab; and Gurpreet Singh of the Gurdwara Kendri Singh Sabha were others with the organising team of Mann, Mohkam Singh, Gurdeep Singh Bhatinda for five hours at a local gurdwara.

The SAD (A) is hopeful of a consensus before November 10. “We have ideological differences but this is about community not parties,” said Mann.

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