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SGPC marches to protest Mann remarks on Jathedar, arrest of ‘innocent youths’

SGPC marches to protest Mann remarks on Jathedar, arrest of ‘innocent youths’

The SGPC also protested against certain comments by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann that allegedly has hurt the dignity of Akal Takht.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee took out a procession on Friday in a bid to press the Punjab government to release “innocent Sikh youths” arrested during a police crackdown on radical preacher Amritpal Singh and his outfit Waris Punjab De and revoke the National Security Act slapped against some of them.

The SGPC also protested against certain comments by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann that allegedly has hurt the dignity of Akal Takht.

Led by its chief Harjinder Singh Dhami, the procession marched from the SGPC headquarters to the district administration complex. The members submitted a memorandum to Additional Deputy Commissioner Surinder Singh, which included the demand for the release of “innocent Sikh youths” arrested during the crackdown.

“It is not right to arrest a large number of innocent youths under the guise of arresting Amritpal Singh. With this phenomenon, a narrative is being created under a conspiracy against Sikhs in the country, which is not good for the community as well as Punjab. Punjab has always played a leading role in protecting India’s culture and protecting its borders. The concerns of Punjab are based on Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s vision of right, truth, and the welfare of humanity. Sikhs have always made sacrifices for the country. But after the independence of the country, the governments have always adopted a policy of ignorance towards the issues of Sikhs, due to which there is resentment within the Sikh community. It is not possible to lead as Punjab CM without understanding the concerns of Sikhs,” reads the memorandum.

The Punjab government has informed the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal body of Sikhs, that almost all the people taken into preventive custody – 348 out of 360 – have been released. The Akal Takht Jathedar’s personal secretary Jaspal Singh said the government has informed them the rest would be released soon.

Earlier this week, Mann had hit out at Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh for “provoking” people through an ultimatum to the state government to release all the Sikh youths. The Jathedar had responded that he has the right and duty to speak about “innocent Sikh youths”.

Just days before the Jathedar’s ultimatum, Punjab Police had said that nearly 30 people detained during the crackdown were hardcore criminals and the remaining would be released after verification.

Punjab’s Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Sukhchain Singh Gill had said the government has made it clear to them that no innocent person should be booked. Action should be taken only against those who were involved in criminal activities, he had said.
On Friday, Dhami slammed Mann for his comments against the Jathedar who he said “represents the Sikh community and who has performed his duty well in view of the current situation in Punjab”.

“Bhagwant Mann’s comment on Jathedar sahib is a direct challenge to the dignity of Sri Akal Takht Sahib and the Sikh community. He should immediately apologise to the Sikh community for this disregard,” he said. Dhami said the Akal Takht is immutable while the governments “keep coming and going”.

“The chief minister should not forget Sri Akal Takht Sahib is not the name of a building, it is the true Takht established by Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib, the sixth Sikh Guru, in the light of a principle and thought. The Mughals, the British, and the governments of the time tried to bend it, but had to give up in front of this principle blessed by the Guru. Today’s governments are also making such a big mistake,” Dhami said.

©Indian Express

Also Read : Pushback to Amritpal Singh Jathedar calls special gathering on April 7 at Damdama Sahib mum on Sarbat Khalsa

Pushback to Amritpal Singh: Jathedar calls ‘special gathering’ on April 7 at Damdama Sahib, mum on ‘Sarbat Khalsa’

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