Issue :   
October 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         October 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:October' 2018


Who sinned against Gurus ?

K S Chawla

Parkash Singh Badal Punjab is once again in turmoil, thanks to the exposure of the alleged connivance of the Badals in the incidents of sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib. More than three year-old incidents of sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala, Bargari and police firing have exposed the forces which have disturbed the peace of Punjab and the atmosphere is surcharged. Both major political parties, the Congress and the Shiromini Akali Dal, are involved in a war of words and are accusing each other . The fact remains that the Badals – Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister, and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal, former Deputy Chief Minister and President of the Akali Dal, cannot be absolved of the responsibility of creating this situation in Punjab.

Sukhbir Singh Badal This situation was allegedly created to garner votes of the followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda (Sirsa), despite that, the Akali Dal faced a humiliating defeat in the 2017 assembly elections . The dream of Sukhbir Singh Badal to rule for 25 years has been shattered and they have been badly alienated from the Sikh masses – whatever be their explanations. The Amarinder Singh-led Congress Government in Punjab has got an upper hand and the Akalis have been but in the dock. The incidents of sacrilege were committed during the SAD-BJP government in 2015 when the bir of Granth Sahib was stolen from a gurdwara at village Burj Jawahar Singh Wala and the government failed to take immediate effective steps to recover the Granth Sahib and catch the culprits. The Badals claim that they formed a special investigation team (SIT) under the supervision of Ranbir Singh Khatra, DIG, and also set up a judicial commission under Justice (retired) Zora Singh. But what was the outcome of these steps? Ranbir Singh Khatra now claims that his team had identified the culprits. But why the were culprits not arrested ? The answer is that he was under pressure not to arrest any person. It was only after the formation of the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab that some persons have been arrested. Khatra’s own son contested the 2017 Vidhan Sabha poll from Patiala district in Akali ticket.

Amarinder Singh Similarly, the Zora Singh Commission completed its report. Zora Singh waited outside the residence of the chief secretary (now retired) to present report. His report was not received. He left the report in his camp office. Amarinder Singh had promised to get the culprits hauled up during the election campaign. He set up the Justice Ranjit Singh (Retd.) Commission to probe into the incidents of sacrilege and police firing at Bargari and Kotkapura. Now when the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd.) commission has submitted its report to the government and exposed the persons behind these incidents, the Akali Dal leadership has rejected the report and described the same as bogus. Justice Ranjit Singh was considered one of the most competent judges in the Punjab High Court. After his retirement he was appointed chairman of the Debt Tribunal of the Union Government keeping in view his competence and integrity. Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission has held the Badals and the followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda responsible for the incidents of sacrilege and the police firing. Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has denied that he ordered police firing at Bargari in which two Sikh youth were killed. The protesters were sitting on dharna peacefully and the police swooped down to lift the dharna.

Zora Singh Sumedh Singh Saini, former DGP Punjab police, in his affidavit to the Ranjit Singh Commission, has stated that he was in contact with the Chief Minister. It was only after apprising the Chief Minister that the police firing was ordered, he has stated. The Justice Ranjit Singh Commission has also exposed the connivance between the Badals and the followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda.Since Justice Ranjit Singh (Retd.) has exposed the nexus between the Badals and the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda, strong resentment has been prevailing among the Sikhs in India and among the NRI Sikhs. The hardliners have been sitting on dharna at Bargarhi for the last three months to seek action against the Badals and others guilty of the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib. Some of the SGPC members, including the former president Avtar Singh Makkar and Bibi Kiranjit Kaur, have also strongly condemned the leadership of Sukhbir and sought the resignation of the jathedar of Akal Takhat. Some Sikh organizations have demanded withdrawl of title of ‘Fakreyquam’ bestowed on Parkash Singh Badal for bringing disgrace to the Sikh Panth.

Ranjit Singh Avtar Singh Makkar told this writer that he had been called to Chandigarh before the grant of pardon to Gurmeet Ram Raheem told Gurmeet Ram Raheem had to be granted pardon. He revealed that he had suggested to Sukhbir that pardon should be granted only after having consultations with the panthic organizations like Nihangs and Sant Sampardas. Sukhbir just heard him and said that pardon had to be granted. He asked Makkar to meet him in the evening at 4 pm. But before his meeting in the evening, the highpriests gad granted pardon to Gurmeet Ram Raheeem. Makkar has now demanded resignation of the jathedar of Akal Takhat and said that he should have resigned by now voluntarily. Makkar further told this writer that when he visited Jawahar Singh Wala and Bargari after the Guru Granth Sahib had been stolen, he found small size posters pasted on the walls of gurdwara and trees saying, ‘Tohada Bapu sade kabze which hai, jaye kar tohade which himmat hai tan chhuda lavo (Your Bapu (Granth Sahib) is in our custody if you have the guts, get it released). A prize of Rs. 5 lakhs was also announced. These posters were allegedly put up by the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda, he said.

Avtar Singh Makkar Makkar said that he had pointed out these posters to the senior police officers present on the spot. After visiting two places he came to Chandigarh to meet Parkash Singh Badal. Badal was holding a meeting in the Punjab Bhawan. After the meeting Badal made him sit in his car and they came to Chief Minister’s residence. He told everything to Badal and questioned, ‘Farmers have held agitation and they detained trains and sat on the railway tracks, the farmers also held chakka jam but there was no lathi charge, no use of tear gas and no police firing. The followers of Dera Sacha Suda also created disturbance in Bathinda to ensure the screening of the film of Gurmeet Ram Raheem and there was no lathi charge nor police firing. Why then police firing on the Sikhs sitting peacefully and reciting gurbani. According to Makkar Badal kept mum. Both factions of the AAP are also demanding registration of cases against Parkash Singh Badal and Sumedh Singh Saini. They also participated in the debate on the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report in the Vidhan Sabha. Now H S Phoolka, AAP leader, has threatened to resign from Vidhan Sabha if FIR is not registered against Parkash Singh Badal and Sumedh Singh Saini. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is in real tight position and Akalis are on the defensive. The Shiromini Akali Dal leadership is not going to learn any lesson and has granted ticket to the son of Akal Takhat jathedar to contest Zila Parishad election in Muktsar. Sukhbir Singh has now announced holding of ‘Pollkhol’ rallies. What ‘Pole’ would he expose when the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission has already exposed them ? The Punjab Congress is trying to make full use of the exposure by Justice Ranjit Singh and is also organizing rallies.