Chandigarh, January 18
The vehicle of SGPC chief Harjinder Sigh Dhami was on Wednesday damaged by some unidentified people in Mohali where he had gone to participate in a protest in support of the release of Sikh prisoners.
The chief of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), however, escaped unhurt in the incident.
According to police, assailants damaged the rear windscreen of Dhami's vehicle with stones and swords.
Condemning the incident, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said the incident was part of a “deep-rooted conspiracy” to weaken the SGPC and 'panthic' institutions.
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh also expressed displeasure over the episode.
Under the banner of 'Kaumi Insaaf Morcha', protesters from various places of Punjab have laid a siege at YPS Chowk near the Mohali-Chandigarh border for the past several days. They have been seeking the release of Sikh prisoners, who they claim, are lodged in different prisons despite having completed their jail sentences.
Speaking to media after his vehicle was vandalised, the SGPC chief claimed he went to the protest site on the invitation of the 'morcha' organisers.
He said when he came out of the 'pandal' and was going to sit in his vehicle, some people gathered there, created a ruckus and damaged his vehicle. Dhami also slammed the police for being “mute spectators” to the incident. Meanwhile, representatives of the 'morcha' said they did not extend any invitation to the SGPC president for joining the protest.
Reacting to the incident, SAD chief Badal said, “Such acts are born out of frustration at the failure to subdue and subjugate the 'Khalsa Panth'." Now attempts are being made to create anarchy and civil war in the 'panth', he claimed.
"The 'panth' will not allow such acts of cowardice and resolves to do everything in its power to seek the early release of all 'Bandhi Singhs' (Sikh prisoners). The SAD and SGPC will continue with programmes in this regard, including the ongoing signature campaign in earnest," he added.
“We had also held a 'dharna' in Delhi to bring national attention on the issue besides seeking a mandate from the 'sangat' in the Sangrur by-poll. The same elements conspiring against the SGPC had betrayed the Bandi Singhs by sabotaging the mandate," he said.
In a statement, Badal demanded an independent judicial probe into the entire incident.
He said the probe needed to be taken out of the ambit of the AAP government in Punjab as the dispensation had failed to provide necessary security to the head of the representative body of Sikhs.
“This incident is also reflective of total collapse of the law and order situation in the state," the SAD leader added.
Strongly condemn attack on SGPC president HS Dhami Ji at Gurudwara in Mohali. Attack is part of conspiracy of agencies bent on destroying SGPC & Sikh institutions. Khalsa Panth won't allow such acts of cowardice to weaken its resolve to strive for early release of Bandi Singhs. pic.twitter.com/yhPyY2GJSY— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) January 18, 2023
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