Centre has treated Sikhs badly since 1947: Akal Takht jathedar
Says a pardon should be granted to Rajoana and all Sikh prisoners should be releasedUpdated: Dec 05, 2019 23:41 IST
Acting jathedar of the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh on Thursday condemned the Centre after home minister Amit Shah stated in Parliament that no pardon had been given to Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was convicted for assassinating then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995.
Replying to a media query over Shah’s statement, the jathedar said, “The Centre has always treated Punjab and Sikhs badly since 1947. A pardon should be granted to Rajoana and all Sikh prisoners should be released. This is the demand of all Sikhs.”
The jathedar also appealed to Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders and other Sikh leaders to raise their voice for release of the Sikh prisoners. The jathedar’s comment comes two days after SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal termed the statement of Amit Shah as ‘very unfortunate’.
Replying to another query over former PM Manmohan Singh’s remark that “If Narsimha Rao had paid heed to IK Gujral’s advice, the 1984 anti–Sikh riots could have been avoided’, the jathedar said, “He has expressed his feelings. The government itself was committing genocide, who could stop it?”
‘GURDWARAS MUST HELP PUNJABI STUDENTS ABROAD’
Meanwhile, several Sikh organisations from India and abroad also met the jathedar and informed him about several issues pertaining to Sikhs and Punjab. There, Khalsa Aid’s founder Ravi Singh urged the jathedar to appeal to the Sikhs living abroad to help Punjabi students in their difficult time.
The jathedar said, “We want to appeal to Punjabi students studying abroad to maintain Sikh tenants. They should also not involve themselves in any kind of hooliganism there, and should diligently follow the law of the country they live in. We want to direct Gurdwara committees abroad to help all Sikh students with food and accommodation.”
He also said some organisations visited him, expressing grave concern regarding the crushing of Punjabi language in Punjab. The government should work for implementation of programmes that promote Punjabi, he said.