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Another Majha Akali veteran raises banner of revolt against SAD

Blames SAD for pardon to dera head in blasphemy case; says it will be a suicidal move for party

punjab Updated: Oct 13, 2018 11:19 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Majha,Shiromani Akali Dal,Akal Takht
(Left To Right) SAD leader Sarabjit Singh Sohal, SAD senior vice president and SGPC member Bhai Manjit Singh, SAD leader from Bathinda Harwinder Singh Sohal and SAD leader Gursevak Singh Harpalpur addressing a press conference in Amritsar.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) senior vice-president Bhai Manjit Singh on Friday raised a banner of revolt against the party, saying its leadership was behind the Akal Takht pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda chief in blasphemy case.

In a press conference in Amritsar, the Akali veteran from the Majha belt who is also Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member from Amritsar, said the move will prove suicidal for the party.

Condemning the sacrilege at Bargari and killing of two Sikh protesters in police firing at Behbal Kalan in Faridkot district in 2015, he said, “Had the then government (of SAD-BJP) taken action to unearth the conspiracy behind sacrilege, Punjab would have had different circumstances and the party would not have to give clarifications on this issue.”

He held the press conference despite efforts by the local leaders to dissuade him from going public with his grievances.

Without naming anyone, he said, “The man involved in this episode, directly or indirectly, should give up his vested political interests and apologise to the Akal Takht on ethical grounds so that the Sikhs’ hearts could be calmed.”

He is the second Akali leader after Avtar Singh Makkar, former president of SGPC, who has said SAD got Akal Takht pardon to Dera Sirsa chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a blasphemy case in September 2015.

“Pardoning the dera chief is a suicidal step by SAD which has abandoned the panthic agenda. This move has maligned the image of Sikh institutions like Akal Takht, SGPC and SAD,” he said.

The SAD leader from Tarn Taran district said the degradation of the Sikh institutions caused a crisis in the party and this was reason behind its debacle in the last assembly elections.

“I won’t quit the party and will fight for it by staying in it. I will attend the October 14 event at Bargari to remember the Sikh protesters killed at Behbal Kalan,” he said.

Khadoor Sahib MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, former MP Rattan Singh Ajnala and former minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan had recently condemned the party leadership.

He is son of Giani Kartar Singh Bhindranwale, the predecessor of slain militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. He is among the Jodhpur jail detainees.

First Published: Oct 13, 2018 11:15 IST