Don’t try to create panic ahead of Baisakhi: Akal Takht Jathedar to Punjab government, again asks Amritpal to surrender : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Don’t try to create panic ahead of Baisakhi: Akal Takht Jathedar to Punjab government, again asks Amritpal to surrender

Giani Harpreet Singh called a special gathering at Takht Sri Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo

Appealed Sikhs to come for Baisakhi, should not confuse it with ‘Sarbat Khalsa’: Akal Takth Jathedar



PTI

Bathinda, April 7

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Friday accused the Punjab government of trying to create panic by increasing security in Talwandi Sabo here and other parts of the district ahead of Baisakhi.

The Jathedar again asked fugitive Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh to surrender.

Akal Takth Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh during a special gathering at Takht Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo on Friday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

He appealed to people to come for the Baisakhi event at Takht Sri Damdama Sahib here in large number. The jathedar asked media not to "twist" this statement to suggest that he is calling a 'sarbat khalsa' (congregation of the community) that Amritpal Singh wanted summoned.

Fugitive Amritpal Singh, in his two video messages, had asked the jathedar to call a 'sarbat khalsa' on Baisakhi to discuss the issues concerning the community.

However, the jathedar had earlier announced a three-day 'gurmat samagam' (religious programme) at Takht Damdama Sahib in Bathinda from April 12 to 15.

Harpreet Singh called a special gathering at Takht Damdama Sahib on Friday to discuss the role of Sikh and Punjabi journalism, Sikh media contribution, and challenges the state is facing at present.

The gathering comes at a time when concerns about the rise of secessionist forces in the border state are being expressed, especially in the wake of a major law and order breach in Ajnala Police Station attack led by Amritpal Singh, a radical preacher declared fugitive by police.

The jathedar called for the formation of a body to track and bust “anti-Sikh phobia” or "Punjab-phobic" content in the media.

"Such an organisation will be formed to track and crack whatever fake news is being circulated,” he said.

Addressing the gathering, the jathedar of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, said because of the tight security arrangements, only a fraction of the usual number of devotees have come here this time ahead of Baisakhi.

"Every year, we see a big gathering which starts from April 5 (for Baisakhi). But (at present), the number of 'sangat' is just 10 per cent. The reason is the panic created by the government," he said.

"I want to tell the Punjab government through this platform that this strictness has created a panic, and it should be ended," he asserted.

Referring to certain media reports, the Jathedar said, "Earlier they said Amritpal Singh will surrender here. Now they will start saying that he will surrender on Baisakhi day, and an attempt will be made to create panic in his name. The government should avoid it." The jathedar said when such a situation is created, it does not affect only the image of Punjabis and Punjab, but also the government which is ruling Punjab.

"At least save your image," he said.

The jathedar said leaves of police staff in Punjab have been cancelled and they have been asked to be present for duty.

"All of them have been sent to Damdama Sahib. What will happen here?" he said.

According to sources, Punjab Police has cancelled the leaves of all its staff till April 14.

The jathedar said 10 to 15 lakh Sikh devotees gather here on the occasion of Baisakhi. A flag march was taken out on Thursday while police personnel have been deployed in every nook and cranny, he said.

"An attempt was being made to project the situation as dangerous and it was very unfortunate," he said.

Baisakhi, one of Punjab's biggest festivals in north India, marks the foundation day of the 'Khalsa Panth' (Sikh order) by the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. It also marks the onset of harvest season.

On the day of the festival, people across Punjab offer prayers at gurdwaras.

The jathedar said not even 75 commitments made to the Sikh community by successive governments at the Centre have been fulfilled in the last 75 years.

"Even then, we are quiet and even then, we are called secessionists and terrorists. How long will this continue? If you suppress our voice in Punjab, we will speak as Haryanvi from Haryana, as Marathas from Maharashtra, from USA and England,” he said.

We do not want any conflict with the central government, he said, adding only dialogue can resolve matters.

Speaking to reporters, the jathedar again asked Amritpal Singh to surrender.

"I had earlier appealed to him. He should surrender," said the jathedar.

He also directed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the apex religious body of the Sikhs, to file a complaint against the terming of flags of erstwhile Sikh rule as Khalistan flags by police.

The jathedar lamented that the SGPC had earlier too been told to file a complaint, but it did not take any meaningful step in the matter.

#akal takht #Amritpal Singh #giani harpreet singh #Sikhs #takht sri damdama sahib


Top News

Indian elections victory for democratic world: PM at G7

Indian elections victory for democratic world: PM Modi at G7

Bats for ending tech monopoly, cites its use in biggest poll...

Modi and Meloni review progress of India-Italy strategic partnership

PM Modi and Meloni review progress of India-Italy strategic partnership

Discuss India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

Terror on rise, 50,000 CAPF men head to J&K

Terror on rise, 50,000 CAPF men head to Jammu and Kashmir

Decision before PM’s June 21 visit | Assets of terror sympat...

Lord Ram didn’t let ‘arrogant’ BJP secure majority: Indresh

Lord Ram didn’t let ‘arrogant’ BJP secure majority: RSS leader Indresh Kumar

Not Sangh view, ties with party same as before: RSS


Cities

View All