All-party meet on Bargari sacrilege ends up as Khaira group plus LIP conclave

Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, September 21: The move to mobilise people on the Bargari sacrilege issue by convening all party meeting today ended up mainly as rebel Aam Aadmi Party group plus Lok Insaaf Party conclave.

Convened by AAP rebel group leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira, the meeting was attended mainly by Bargari Insaaf Morcha leaders including Bhai Mohkam Singh and Gurdip Singh Bathinda, rebel AAP MP Dr Dharam Vira Gandhi, several SGPC members and leaders from farmers organisations.

The long list of invites circulated by the organisers included the names of Jagmeet Singh Brar, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Dr Joginder Dyal from CPI, Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon from CPM, Mangat Ram Pasla from RMPI, Leader of the Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, Dr Kiranjot Kaur, PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar, Punjab ministers Navjot Singh Sidhu, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, H S Phoolka and Birdevinder Singh.

The agenda was to mobilise pressure on Capt Amarinder Singh government to initiate action against those who ordered police action against Sikh protesters first at Kotkapura and then nearby Behbal Kalan. Two persons were killed in cold blood at Behbal. As per the Jora Singh Commission finding that was appointed by Parkash Singh Badal government, the police opened fire from a distance of about three feet. The Ranjit panel too has arrived at the same conclusion on the basis of the post mortem of the two persons killed in firing.

The name of several police officials have surfaced following release of Ranjit Singh Commission report that has heated up the political temperature in the state in the run up to 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Three of these officials have been granted stay by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and next hearing is fixed for October 11. Khaira alleged Capt Amarinder Singh was complicit in non-action against these people before they got stay order.

A dharna has been going on by parallel Akal Takht Jathedar Dhian Singh Mand from June 1 at Bargari that was ground zero in case of sacrilege demanding action against the culprits and release of Sikh prisoners who are in jail relating to the cases during militancy period. Majority of them are in jails outside Punjab.

The dharna that being supported by United Akali Dal, Akali Dal (Amritsar) and Dal Khalsa has been attracting Sikh masses in the area. Several dimensions have emerged over the period as a section of the NRIs has started mobilising funds for this dharna.

The talks earlier initiated by Capt Amarinder Singh government with the Bargari Insaaf Morcha leaders before the report was released in the Assembly failed.

The thrust of today’s meeting was to seek action against Badal, his son and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh and former state police chief Sumedh Singh Saini. It is Saini who in his affidavit disclosed that Badal had talked to him at 2.00 am hours before police action at Kotkapura.

It was decided to stage a march from Kotkapura to Bargari passing through the affected villages on October 7. An 11-member committee would be constituted to carry on this agitation. Khaira said all political parties barring the Akali Dal would be approached again to participate in this march.

The meet adopted a resolution demanding that the police should be de-politicised.

Khaira said this was the beginning of the struggle to press for the implementation of Justice Ranjit Singh panel recommendations.

Jagtar Singh


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