Anti-Punjab forces trying to defame state: Jathedar
Addressing a gathering at Talwandi Sabo, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh says all sections are living in peace, brotherhood in Punjab
Bathinda : Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Friday said all sections of society are living in peace and brotherhood and there was complete communal harmony in Punjab.
Addressing a gathering on Baisakhi from Takht Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo, the jathedar cautioned about evil designs of anti-Punjab forces to project it as a disturbed state.
Rejecting a narrative of heightened communal tension in Punjab, the head of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, noted that a large number of devotees had converged on the holy place despite high security checks to celebrate Khalsa Sajna Diwas.
The jathedar, however, said the devotees were subjected to unnecessary checking and frisking as the government deployed a large posse of security personnel around Talwandi Sabo.
Security in Talwandi Sabo was heightened amid reports that fugitive pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh, who has been on the run since March 18, may surface at Takht Damdama Sahib on Baisakhi.
An official said the footfall of devotees at the Takht was lesser this time due to imminent police action on Amritpal and delayed wheat harvesting. “Farmers are busy in harvesting wheat as it was delayed by 7 to 10 days due to inclement weather,” the official said.
On the occasion, the jathedar appealed to the community to fight against drugs and follow the teachings of Sikh gurus, besides understanding the difference between “beparwah” (nonchalant) and “laparwah” (careless) in their behaviour.
He also said carrying a sword is an integral part of the Sikh tradition, but a section was lobbying to prohibit it. “Sikhs must keep swords to follow the religious tradition,” he added.
He said religious congregation at Talwandi Sabo has been a tradition since 1706, the era of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who arrived at Takh Damdama Sahib to pay obeisance, said devotees were stopped from reaching the shrine.
“It is unfortunate that the Punjab government used the police to barricade the area that stopped devotees to reach the shrine. Reports are emerging from different parts of the state where innocent family members of the youth, suspected to be involved in illicit activities, were hounded by the police. We condemn such acts by the government,” he told reporters without citing any example of the families who are being harassed by the police.