Jupinderjit Singh & GS Paul:
Chandigarh/Amritsar: The police today slapped sedition charges on 20 persons out of the 48 arrested since November 11 amid fear of law and order problem after the controversial Sarbat Khalsa and appointment of “parallel” jathedars.
Those booked for sedition include 10 leaders of various outfits, who played a key role in holding Sarbat Khalsa and allegedly caused law and order problems in Amritsar. These include Mohkam Singh, president, United Akali Dal, Baljit Singh Daduwal (appointed “jathedar” of Takht Damdama Sahib), Dhian Singh Mand (“officiating Akal Takht jathedar”), Amrik Singh Ajnala, Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, and United Akali Dal general secretary Gurdeep Singh.
The arrests were made following an attempt by some leaders appointed Takht “jathedars” at November 10 congregation to enter the Golden Temple. The government has lodged them in separate jails.
The leaders were earlier booked under Sections 107, 151 CrPc and sent to jail for 14 days. Now, they have been booked under Sections 124-A and 153-A of the IPC.
SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann, who was taken into preventive custody on November 11 and released yesterday, too has been booked along with the three Takht “jathedars” and their supporters.
DIG (Border Range) Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh confirmed that the main organisers of the congregation and others who addressed the gathering with repulsive dialect were booked under sedition charges at Chattiwind police station.
More arrests are likely in future, as the police are scrutinising the speech of several speakers.
‘Bid to challenge Akal Takht’s supremacy’
Amritsar: The SGPC has annulled all resolutions, including the appointment of three Takht heads, passed during Sarbat Khalsa. The decision was taken at the SGPC’s executive committee meeting held here on Friday to deliberate over the recent instances aimed at hampering the dignity of Akal Takht, SGPC and other Sikh institutions. As SGPC chief couldn’t make it due to health concerns, the meeting was convened by senior vice-president Raghujit Singh. He said the appointment of jathdars and other resolutions passed in the ‘so-called Sarbat Khalsa’ had been nullified officially by the SGPC’s executive body. He alleged some anti-panthic forces had conspired to call the congregation with the motive to challenge the supremacy of Akal Takht and the SGPC. “During the congregation, all resolutions were just read out without taking nod from the sangat. Moreover, the sanctity of this congregation as Sarbat Khalsa stood invalidated as it defied the principles and tenets of Sikhism,” he claimed.
Row over protesters’ identity
There are reports that several persons who brandished swords at the Golden Temple complex on Bandi Chhor Diwas (Diwali) were allegedly hired by the SGPC and SAD. The matter was raised by an executive member of the SGPC at its meeting on Friday. On the other hand, some Sikh leaders who assembled there to protest Akal Takht Jathedar’s address claimed there was a group comprising clean shaven youths which was not part of their protest. The alleged accused were nabbed by some pilgrims. They were reportedly drunk and loitering in the Golden Temple complex. They were handed over to the police.