Sunday, October 14, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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SGPC takes action against another Baba
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 13
In a swift action by the task force of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee today removed the ‘kalgi’ (plume) of Baba Onkar Singh ‘Kara’ who had been “misguiding” the Sikhs like Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara (now in jail) in the border village of Bhullar.

Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, Secretary, SGPC, said Baba Onkar Singh was ‘Baba Bhaniara in the making’, but timely action had pacified the Sikh “sangat”. The Baba claimed to be the incarnation of Guru Gobind Singh.

When he refused to desist from his “anti-Sikh” acts, Mr Baldev Singh, an SGPC member, and Mr Jagtar Singh Kohli brought the matter to the notice of the Sikh High Priests. Dr Bachan was directed to take stringent action before the situation turned for the worse.

At least 25 members of the task force and other employees were deputed. The Baba surrendered and sought an apology for sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib.

According to a press note, Mr Daljit Singh Bedi, incharge, publicity, rushed to the ‘dera’ of the Baba along with missionaries and task force. Due to the sensitivity of the situation, Mr Shingara Singh, SHO, Lopoke, reached the site with a heavy force.

The SGPC team has submitted a report to the Sikh High Priests urging them to summon Baba Onkar Singh at Akal Takht for indulging in “anti-Panthic” activities. According to information available here, the Baba is only 22 years old. He is single.

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Panthic Morcha rejects judicial probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 13
The Panthic Morcha today rejected the judicial probe ordered by the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, into the recent acts of sacrilege in the state.

Speaking to mediapersons, Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi, Convener of the morcha, and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, its senior leader, said today that they would support the three-member probe panel set up by the SGPC President, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, provided the Chief Minister declared that panel as official one and gave all powers to it for conducting the probe.

Mr Tohra said for deciding the terms of reference of the three-member panel all Akali factions should be consulted by the government. He said Mr Badal was competent to enact law to enhance punishment in cases of sacrilege, he added.

Ruling out any sort of unity with Mr Badal, Mr Tohra said he did not hold any meeting with Mr Badal. The reports which appeared in a section of the Press today in this connection were false and baseless. “I would move court against such reports”, he added. Reports in certain newspapers were part of large conspiracy and it would be exposed after the Khalsa march on October 17.

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Call all-party meeting on probe: Cong
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 13
Punjab Pradesh Congress General Secretary Birdevinder Singh today said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal should immediately convene an all-party meeting to decide the terms of reference for the judicial probe into the sacrilege incidents.

In a statement here, Mr Birdevinder Singh said the Congress would appreciate if the judicial probe was specifically asked to probe the allegations levelled against the Congress for hatching a conspiracy for involvement in the sacrilege incidents.

The Congress leader said this should be one of the terms of reference of the probe as the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister had made these allegations and now they should have the guts to face this probe and place evidence to substantiate their claim. He said if they failed to do so they should tender a public apology adding that the Congressmen were second to none in reposing faith in the Granth Sahib.

Mr Birdevinder Singh also said the Chief Minister had not mentioned the terms of reference of the inquiry while requesting the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice to spare a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He said a judicial probe conducted under vague terms of reference for the Punjab would not serve any purpose.

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