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’84 riots: Amitabh pleads innocence before Akal Takht
Perneet Singh/TNS

Amritsar, December 1
Taking a note of allegations of provoking anti-Sikh riots in 1984 levelled against him, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has written a letter to the Akal Takht Jathedar, pleading his innocence in the matter.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh revealed this while addressing a press conference at the Akal Takht Secretariat here today.

The Jathedar said Amitabh’s letter would come up for discussion at a meeting of Sikh high priests on December 5. Amitabh had handed over his letter, addressed to the Jathedar, to Gurinder Singh Bawa who is an SGPC member from Mumbai at the latter’s residence on November 28.

Along with the letter, the megastar has enclosed some photographs to highlight his family’s Sikh background. Sharing the contents of the letter, the Jathedar said Amitabh had written that he too was associated with Sikhism as his mother, Teji Bachchan, belonged to a Sikh family.

To corroborate his point, the actor has also attached the photograph of his mother Teji Bachchan and maternal grandfather Saudagar Singh, who was a “keshdhari” Sikh. Amitabh said his family also believed in Sikhism. He dubbed the allegations of provoking anti-Sikh riots in 1984 against him as “baseless”, adding that such charges have hurt his sentiments. He admitted he had been close to the Gandhi family and had been sharing their joys and sorrows. He, however, clarified that he was in no way involved in any activity like inciting riots against the Sikhs.

The issue regarding Amitabh’s alleged role in provoking anti-Sikh riots had come to the fore prior to the recent inauguration of “Virasat-e-Khalsa” at Anandpur Sahib. Various Sikh organisations had lodged a protest against the state government’s plan to invite the superstar to the event. Later, the Akal Takht Jathedar doused the protests by stating that no film star had been invited to the inaugural ceremony.

Meanwhile, in view of today’s developments, the Jathedar said they would also give a chance to the Sikh organisations, which were levelling charges against Amitabh, to present their case before reaching a decision in that regard.

On the controversy surrounding “Panth Rattan Faqr-e-Quam” award to CM Parkash Singh Badal, he denied comment on the issue. On PPP chief Manpreet Badal’s visit to Dera Sacha Sauda, he said the matter was pending with the Sikh high priests.





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