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Bargari protest to continue till arrest and trial of culprits, says Sikh preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal

In November 2015, Sikh radicals had pronounced Daduwal as the parallel jathedar of the Takht Damdama Sahib at the Sarbat Khalsa held in Amritsar in the wake of the sacrilege incidents.

punjab Updated: Aug 28, 2018 10:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bathinda
Bargari protest,Sikh,Sikh preacher
Baljit Singh Daduwal (centre) at the protest site in Bargari on Monday.(HT Photo)

The jathedars (Sikh religious preachers) leading the ‘morcha’ (protest sit-in) at Bargari, around 40km from the city, resolved, on Monday, that their protests would continue till the arrest of all culprits behind the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and the Behbal Kalan police firing.

“Yes, we know that the Justice Ranjit Singh (retired) Commission report has been tabled in the Vidhan Sabha. The onus is now on chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to consider it and immediately arrest all accused police officers identified and whoever else is named in the report. They must be tried in a fast-track court,” said Baljit Singh Daduwal, in his address to the crowds at the ‘morcha’.

In November 2015, Sikh radicals had pronounced Daduwal as the parallel jathedar of the Takht Damdama Sahib at the Sarbat Khalsa held in Amritsar in the wake of the sacrilege incidents.

Daduwal and Dhian Singh Mand, who is the parallel jathedar of the Akal Takht, have been instrumental behind the ‘Bargari morcha’ that st arted three months ago on June 1.

Gradually, crowds have gathered at the venue.

Speaking to HT on Monday, Daduwal rubbished the allegations of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal that the parallel jathedars’ protest was a ‘handiwork of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)’.

Sukhbir had earlier dubbed the protests as ‘Congress-sponsored’ and also accused it of being against peace.

“Sukhbir is running away from the core issue. People here are protesting for justice as their religious sentiments were hurt. Does this mean that members of the crowd you are seeing here are acting on the directions of the ISI?,” Daduwal responded to Sukhbir’s allegations.

He also ruled out the possibility of allowing any separatist

slogans at the protest venue ever.

“There has never been any slogan on Khalistan. The protest has remained peaceful,” he said, countering Sukhbir’s another assertion that the protest was meant ‘to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in Punjab’.

Daduwal also ridiculed SAD leader Bikramjit Majithia’s tweet that he (Daduwal) had met chief minister Capt Amarinder on Sunday in Chandigarh. He, however, said he had met cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Sunday in the city. “Bajwa is like my family member,” he added.

This meeting, however, is in sharp contrast to Mand’s stance, who told Hindustan Times on Monday, “The Panth (community) will not forgive those who cross the line. They will be dropped from the protest.

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 10:33 IST