September 25, 2015 | By Parmjeet Singh
Amritsar/ Chandigarh: Sikh Jathedar’s move to announce pardon for Dera Sauda Sirsa chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has invited strong criticism from Sikh circles. Besides outrage over social media, a number of Sikh organizations and personalities have criticized and rejected the controversial move by Sikh Jathedars.
Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur who is pursuing a criminal case against Dera Sauda Sirsa chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim for his 2007 blasphemous act in Punjab and Haryana High Court said that the decision to pardon Sauda Sadh is not in consonance with Panthic traditions. He said that he will continue to pursue the legal fight against Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh said it was perhaps the first time someone had been pardoned without even appearing before the Takht. “The Jathedar has violated the norms. The clandestine pardon raises suspicion. The Badals (CM Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal) have misused the seat of Jathedar for their votebank politics,” he alleged.
All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) chief Karnail Singh Peermohammed termed the decision “politically motivated” saying it would be written in “black letters”. SGPC ex-member Jaswinder Singh said the dera chief had neither apologised nor expressed remorse in his letter.
Former Jathedar of Takhat Damdama Sahib Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh also criticized the decision taken by five Singh Sahibs and said that Dera Sauda Sirsa chief should have not been pardoned without appearing before the Akal Takhat Sahib and submit and unconditional & complete apology.
Former Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti said that yesterday’s decision taken by five Singh Sahibs reveal that consciousness of persons holding these high positions have died. He said that the Sikh panth will not accept any such decision.
Former Jathedar of Takhat Kesgarh Sahib Giani Keval Singh also condemned the decision taken by Gurbachan Singh and others Jathdars and said that the decision to pardon Sauda Sadh was totally incorrect and the Sikh panth will not accept it.
Sikh youth body Sikh Youth Federation Bhindranwale also criticised the move. Group’s chief Balwant Singh Gopala said that Jathedars have attempted to cheat the Sikh panth under political pressure from Punjab’s ruling party Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).
Sikh Students Federation (Mehta), an affiliate of Punjab’s ruling party Shiromani Akali Dal Badal, has also criticized jathedars for their controversial move.
Principal Surinder Singh, Badal Dal’s SGPC member from Anandpur Sahib, has also opposed the decision to pardon Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
Related Topics: Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Giani Kewal Singh, Jaspal Singh Manjhpur (Advocate), Kanwar Pal Singh Bittu, Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad, Sikh Youth Federation (Bhindranwale), So-called Pardon to Dera Sauda Sirsa chief