SGPC chief on Khalistan ‘referendum’ posters: ‘Govt must rein in those who want to vitiate peace’
On the recent refusal of permission to a Sikh jatha (pilgrim group) to visit Pakistan, Badungar said it is the responsibility of the Union government to ensure safety and security of its nationals on foreign soil.Updated: Jul 04, 2017 18:47 IST
While speaking during a religious propagation drive (Gurumat Parchar Lehar) in Mansa on Tuesday, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Kirpal Singh Badungar urged the Punjab government to “rein in the elements who are attempting to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state”. He was responding to media queries regarding posters by US-based group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) for ‘Referendum 2020’ on the idea of Khalistan as a separate nation, put up in parts of Punjab.
“Our religious gurus have propagated communal harmony and peace, and it is the responsibility of the state to reign in such elements who want to disturb the hard-earned peace,” Badungar stressed.
On the recent refusal of permission to a Sikh jatha (pilgrim group) to visit Pakistan, Badungar said it is the responsibility of the Union government to ensure safety and security of its nationals on foreign soil. His reponse came in the context of reports that the Centre had asked the SGPC for an undertaking that the jatha would be responsible for its own safety in Pakistan.
The SGPC chief underlined, “Despite all the hostility between the neighbours, trade across the border is going on. The bus between Lahore and New Delhi has not stopped. However, Sikh pilgrims have failed to visit religious sites across the border as our own government failed to assure us of safety.”
About the ongoing religious propagation drive, Badungar said young students who will be attending the camp will also be trained about social issues which have plagued the state. “This Dharam Prachar Lehar will also enlighten students about issues such as female foeticide, dowry harassment and the underground water.” A cultural function highlighting teachings of Sikhism was held at a gurdwara in Phaphre Bhaike village that also saw the presence of local leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal.