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Hardliners agree to cremate Khalsa’s body after govt’s written assurance

The cremation of Sikh rights activist Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa will take place at 10am on Sunday at Thaska Ali village.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2018 22:03 IST
Neeraj Mohan
Neeraj Mohan
Hindustan Times, Kurukshetra
Sikh rights activist Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa,suicide,Thaska Ali village
Sikh leader Amrik Singh Ajnala talking to mediapersons at Thaska Ali village in Kurukshetra as Baljit Singh Daduwal (second from left) looks on. (HT file photo)

Five days after Sikh rights activist Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa committed suicide by jumping off a water tank, Sikh hardliners on Saturday agreed to cremate his body following the state government’s written assurance to meet their demands.

“The cremation will take place at 10am on Sunday at Thaska Ali village and the decision on cremation has been taken as the government has in written accepted our demands which include transfers of Kurukshetra superintendent of police (SP) Abhishek Garg, DSP Dheeraj Kumar, suspension of station house officers (SHOs) of Jhansa and Ismailabad and a fresh FIR under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code against the two,” said Baljeet Singh Daduwal, who held talks with the government on behalf of the Sikhs.

The decision was taken after repeated meetings with BJP’s Assandh MLA and only Sikh face in the party Bakshish Singh Virk and Kurukshetra deputy commissioner SS Phulia.

The DC, on the behalf of the government, handed over a letter ordering a magisterial inquiry by SDM Shahbad into Khalsa’s suicide.

Even as there was no mention of the demands in the letter but Virk, while talking to media persons, said all the demands have been accepted, including the transfer of the SP and the DSP.

Virk also praised members of the Sikh community for holding a peaceful protest and assured his support to Khalsa’s family.

He also assured that the youth detained by the police when they were coming to the attend the Friday meeting will be released soon.

“Punjab is our elder brother and I assure you that we will execute your demands”, Virk told the hardliners from Punjab.

Talking to HT, Khalsa’s father Ajit Singh (85) said, “I am agree with the decision taken by the ‘panthik’ leaders and I am happy that the deadlock over cremation is over.”

Earlier, the meeting started around 5pm and some Sikh leaders were against verbal assurance as they were accusing the police of harassment. But Daduwal said they will not go with the decision to end the protest if all the government agreed to their demands.

Khalsa committed suicide on Tuesday while demanding release of Sikh prisoners who have already completed their jail terms. The family had alleged that the police forced him to jump off the water tank.

Several meetings took place as Sikh hardliners Giani Dhian Singh Mand, Baljit Singh Daduwal, Amrik Singh Ajnala and other leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and United Akali Dal and the Dal Khalsa were camping at Khalsa’s residence for the past two days.

First Published: Mar 24, 2018 21:59 IST