October 12, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Jalandhar (Press Release – 11 October, 2018): To counter the continuing gross lies of the Badal Dal, the prevarication of the Congress party and the impunity climate to the police, Sikh personalities of all hues and shades, from all walks of life, with the primary parameter of the love and interest of the community at heart, will be focussing on the “sacrilege onslaught” that has hit Punjab over the last three years at the proposed Panthic Assembly on 20-21 October in Amritsar.
It will be an endeavour to revive the historic methodology of the Sikhs to evolve a Gurmata a considered consensus on substantive issues confronting the Sikhs from time to time.
The Sikh citizens’ Panthic Assembly comprising 117 individuals from Punjab and outside has been convened to chalk out a well-thought and deliberated policy and strategy to counter sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in the State and neighbouring states, as well as to ensure that the guilty of sacrilege and police firing at Behbal Kalan, Kotkapura and Bargari are brought to justice.
The five-members Working Group of the newly convened Panthic Assembly, present at the press conference here, Giani Kewal Singh, Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Prof Jagmohan Singh, Kanwar Pal Singh, and Jaswinder Singh Advocate said that the day the Punjab assembly failed to address the issue of sacrilege and the SGPC and Jathedar Akal Takht failed to take over, the idea of Panthic Assembly germinated.
They said this is a first baby step towards democratisation of the Sikh polity in modern times and the founders hope that this new institution hast the scope and potential to become a trendsetter in creating a platform for dialogue and deliberation on substantive issues confronting the community.
In the first session of the Panthic Assembly, the focus will be only and only sacrilege and blasphemy incidents in Punjab.
Elaborating their plans, while addressing the media here today they said Panthic Assembly will lay the foundations to nullify divisive tendencies in the social and political domain supported by the entrenched political parties and brings in a fresh air of inclusive politics.
With no respite from the Akali leadership who continues to harp on the absolutely baseless “foreign hand” and ISI angle and the Congress who continues to pay lip service to the cause of ensuring justice and punishing guilty police personnel, clearly indicted in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report and the People’s Commission of Justice Markandey Katju, this new platform, over a period of two days will ask questions from the established institutions and political parties and present an exhaustive report, “Genesis of Sacrilege in Punjab and Solutions”.
The two official reports Justice Ranjit Singh Commission Report and Justice Jora Singh Commission report will be examined in detail. The working and conclusions of the Commissions and the police SITs formed over the last three years will also be thoroughly discussed by participants in the Panthic Assembly. The Panthic Assembly will also deliberate upon the Justice Gurnam Singh Commission report into the cold-blooded murder of four Sikh youth who were protesting against the burning of Sarups of Guru Granth Sahib in Nakodar in February 1986. This report was submitted to the government of Punjab in March 1987, when Surjit Singh Barnala was the Chief Minister. This report has neither been made public nor has any follow up action been taken on it.
The venomous campaign of Sukhbir Singh Badal against the devout and lay Sikh, who has risen out of the phoenix, to confront him and his party, is not only empty rhetoric but is the language of defeat by a leader who is on the verge of being discarded by his own party and the people of Punjab. His father, five-time chief minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal has attempted to justify his behaviour by saying, “I see nothing wrong in speaking to the DGP in the middle of the night. It is wrong to infer that I ordered the police firing.” What Badal fails to answer is, “On the morning of 15 October 2015, when he learnt that the police had resorted to unprovoked firing without his nod (as claimed by him), what action, if any, did he take?” This is the prime question to which the people of Punjab seek an answer.
The convenors of the Panthic Assembly were of the considered view that the Congress-led Punjab government enacted a scripted lame-duck session of the Punjab Assembly, without any follow-up action. The Punjab government has afforded an escape route for the high-ranking accused police officials as well as the then political leadership. The state is playing games for impunity to police and political camaraderie.
Commenting on the relief of arrest granted to former DGP Punjab Sumedh Singh Saini by the Punjab and Haryana High Court today, the leaders said, “It is ironic that the former Punjab police chief does not trust his own police now!” This move is an absolutely clear indication that the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government will not do anything. It created the hype of action against the erring police officials, without doing anything, thus affording an opportunity to stall the same.
Supporting the Barghari Morcha wholeheartedly, the Panthic Assembly will explore new options for justice to those killed and injured in October 2015. Giving a clarion call to people to reach Bargarhi on 14, they said we are hopeful that the mammoth pull of 7 October at Bargari is likely to be repeated on the third anniversary of the police firing on 14 October. The determination of the Morcha leaders to take the struggle to its logical conclusion will prove a game-changer in the politics of Punjab.