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Khalsa suicide: Meeting of Punjab-based Sikh hardliners underway to decide whether to cremate body

The activist’s family members had refused to cremate his body demanding suspension of two station house officers (SHOs) and registration of FIR against them under abetment to suicide (Section 306 of IPC) charges.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2018 19:04 IST
Pawan Sharma and Neeraj Mohan
Pawan Sharma and Neeraj Mohan
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh/Kurukshetra
Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa died on Tuesday evening after jumping off a water tank at his native village Thaska Ali in Kurukshetra district.(HT File)

A meeting of Sikh hardliners led by Giani Dhian Singh Mand, Akal Takht’s parallel jathedar, is underway to decide whether to cremate body of former militant Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who had died on Tuesday evening after jumping off a water tank at his native village Thaska Ali in Kurukshetra district.

Also present in the meeting that is underway at Khalsa’s house at his native village Thaska Ali is Baljit Singh Daduwal--a radical Sikh preacher and parallel head priest of the Takht Damdama Sahib. Both Mand and Daduwal were appointed parallel jathedars during the November 2015 Sarbat Khalsa (Sikh congregation) in Amritsar spearheaded by the Sikh radicals in the wake of state-wide protests in Punjab over the spate of sacrilege incidents of Guru Granth Sahib.

According to the reports, Mand and Daduwal along with pro-Khalistan outfits such as Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) of Simranjit Singh Mann and United Akali Dal are discussing their next course of action at village Thaska Ali where the body of Khalsa has been kept in a freezer by his family members.

Khalsa’s family members had refused to cremate his body demanding suspension of two station house officers (SHOs) and registration of FIR against them under abetment to suicide (Section 306 of IPC) charges.

Haryana police had registered an FIR under Section 302 (murder) against unknown policemen, while the family members alleged that the police deliberately registered the case under murder charges, which will be difficult to prove in the court.

Presence of Mand and Daduwal is significant and a clear indication of Sikh hardliners on the forefront of this standoff with Haryana police.

In November-December 2013, Khalsa had emerged as a rallying figure for hardliners to pressurise then Parkash Singh Badal government to get the jailed Sikh militants released.

Backed by India and foreign-based hardliners, Khalsa had volunteered to starve till death, seeking release of six Sikh convicts sentenced to life imprisonment.

Then, Khalsa’s key demand was to release six life convicts – three of them convicted in the Beant Singh assassination case.

Meanwhile, Kurukshetra deputy commissioner SS Phulia has arrived at Khalsa’s residence along with senior police officer.

First Published: Mar 23, 2018 18:13 IST