Shun politics over ’84 riots: Takht to parties

Amritsar, January 12: Akal Takht on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court’s order to reinvestigate 186 cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, even as he supported the restrictions on Indian officials’ entry to overseas gurdwaras.
Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said the SC decision had rekindled hopes for the victims and their families who were awaiting justice for the past over 33 years.

“I appeal to all political outfits to shun vested interests and contribute to ensure that the victims get justice and the accused face exemplary punishment as per law,” he said.
The Jathedar backed the decision of the federation of Sikh organisations and gurdwara managements in Canada, the US and the UK to boycott Indian diplomats due to their alleged interference in socio-religious affairs of the shrines. “Yet, nobody can stop anyone from entering the gurdwaras for paying obeisance or partaking of langar,” he said.

On the controversy over the recital of Gurmat Sangeet by ‘patit’ singer Mika Singh in Mumbai recently, Giani Gurbachan Singh said the organisers had submitted an apology for the lapse.
The Jathedar said he had attended the programme to mark Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary along with other Takht heads, but claimed that he was unaware that Mika would perform.

He asked Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to rein in Congress leaders such as Harinder Pal Singh Mann, who had allegedly asked party workers to use the Siri Sahib (kirpan) against their rivals in the panchayat elections. “Mann should submit a public apology. If a complaint is received at Akal Takht, the matter could be taken up in the upcoming meeting of the five high priests,” Giani Gurbachan Singh added.

He advocated an amendment to Article 25(2)(b) of the Constitution to provide a separate status and identity to the Sikhs, adding that the Anand Marriage Act should be implemented in toto.

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