The General Secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Committee, Sarwan Singh Pandher, on Wednesday, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government to discuss their issues or allow farmers to proceed to Delhi to hold a protest peacefully.
A policeman was killed and six others were injured after a dispute between two factions of Nihang Sikhs over the possession of a gurdwara in Punjab’s Kapurthala turned violent on Thursday.
This was after a group of Nihangs allegedly opened fire at cops at about 4 am when they went there to clear the premises following an alleged attempt to take control of the Gurdwara Akal Bunga at Sultanpur Lodhi. Ten Nihangs have been arrested in the case for allegedly encroaching upon the gurdwara. Nihang Sikhs are armed with traditional weapons and dressed in loose blue robes.
The superintendent of police (headquarters), Kapurthala, Tejbir Singh Hundal said the policemen were standing on the road when the Nihangs opened fire at them. The police used tear gas shells to control the situation and police personnel in large numbers have been deployed in the area.
Sources said it started on Tuesday when some Nihangs owing allegiance to a faction led by Baba Mann Singh tried to capture the gurdwara and allegedly beat up two Nihangs of the other faction led by Sant Balbir Singh of Baba Budha Dal.
On Wednesday, Nihangs belonging to Baba Mann Singh allegedly attacked the men of Baba Budha Dal. Thereafter, police registered an FIR in the matter and have already arrested 10 Nihangs belonging to the Baba Mann Singh faction following which the group resorted to firing.
Police used tear gas shells to control the situation. At the time of the filing of the report, the administration had taken possession of the Sikh shrine and made both the factions vacate it.
Expressing grief over death of home guard Jawan Jaspal Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann said he laid down his life in line of duty and announced Rs Two crore as financial assistance to his family. In a condolence message the CM said Jaspal Singh had died while performing his duty at Sultanpur Lodhi.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal today held the CM “responsible for the bloodshed and the desecration of the sacred Sikh religious shrine at Gurdwara Akal Bunga Sultanpur Lodhi.
Badal said Bhagwant Mann and his bosses in Delhi merely need excuses to enter Gurdhams and paint the Sikhs as violent. “Forces sitting in Delhi and their henchmen in Punjab will use every excuse to defame Sikhs and to prepare the ground for widespread repression. Then they will blame it on the Sikh themselves as they did in 1984. The Sikh masses need to be careful and watchful against these conspiracies to defame them,” he said.
“The police were under orders to act, throwing caution to the winds and ignoring considerations of religious decorum (marayada) to simply use the occasion to commit the sacrilege against the sacred religious shrine. No political, social or administrative solution was sought or made to resolve the issue peacefully?,” the SAD chief asked.