M A I N   N E W S

Two killed as SGPC, Baba’s followers clash
Tribune News Service

Gurusar Satlani, October 23
Panic gripped the border belt adjoining Gurdwara Gurusar Satlani here following armed clash between task force of the SGPC and followers of Baba Gurpinder Singh Satlani in the late last evening here, leaving two persons dead and several injured, including Head Constable Kashmir Singh in the cross-firing.

The trouble started four days after taking over the possession of the gurdwara and other buildings by the SGPC on the basis of the directive issued by the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission on October 18.

The two persons who died in the cross-firing have been identified as Baldev Singh and Dara Singh, both followers of Baba Satlani. In a belated action, the police arrested Baba Satlani, along with his 30 followers. The four SGPC employees, Sukhdev Singh, Rajpal Singh, Shavinder Singh and Gurminder Singh, were injured.

The police said no SGPC employee had been booked as they had fired in self-defence.

While Baba Satlani alleged that the task force of the SGPC had first attacked his men when they had entered the langar building on the basis of a stay order, purportedly given by the local Civil Court while Bibi Jagir Kaur, president, Shiromani committee, claimed that a “crowd” (about 1,000 persons) led by Baba Satlani had attacked on the “peaceful” employees of the Shiromani committee after the sunset.

Bibi Jagir Kaur alleged that Baba Satlani had converted his residential building as “den” with the funds, collected from Sikh Sangat in the name of “Kar Seva”. She, however, appreciated the SGPC employees who had “protected” the historical gurdwara without bothering about their precious lives. She said the Shiromani committee would honour these employees.

Meanwhile, Bibi Jagir Kaur spoke to the DGP, Mr S.S. Virk, who assured her to dispatch more police force to ensure safety and security of all.

Amid heavy security, Mr Raghbir Singh, Secretary, SGPC, who was appointed receiver by the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC), had taken over the control of historical gurdwara and agricultural land worth several crore (Hoshiar Nagar) in Amritsar district, on October 18. The taking-over operation was launched in wake of the huge chunk of agricultural land which was illegally leased for a song.

Though the SGPC had deputed about 200 employees, including its task force and Nihang Sikhs to meet any eventuality, the entire operation was completed in eight hours smoothly. Since the followers of Baba Gurpinder Singh Satlani, care taker of the historical gurdwara initially tried to stop the SGJC’s receiver from taking over the possession, yet he (Baba Gurpinder Singh) agreed to vacate the entire gurdwara complex on certain conditions. For this, the SGPC had also honoured Baba Satlani and his associates with “Siropas” (robe of honour).


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