SGPC to felicitate Phoolka, event postponed once again

Amritsar, January 20: The SGPC has once again postponed the event to honour those associated with the 1984 anti-Sikh riot case that led to conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar.

After facing criticism for not involving all related to the case, including senior Supreme Court advocate HS Phoolka, for this event, the SGPC has decided to review it and invite them.

Phoolka said he had been approached by the SGPC. “I have provided them with the list of eight senior lawyers whose contribution in the case could not be ignored. They included Soli Sorabjee and Dushyant Dave,” he said.

Sukhminder Singh, PA to SGPC chief, confirmed that the lawyers would now be part of the event, but the fresh date to hold the function was yet to be finalised.

“The advocates could not spare time on January 22 due to their prior commitments. We may hold it on Republic Day,” he said. This is for the third time that the SGPC has deferred this event. It was originally announced to be held on December 26 by SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal, who had mentioned the names of advocates Phoolka, RS Cheema and Gurbaksh, besides witnesses Jagdish Kaur, Nirpreet Kaur and Jagsher Singh.

The occasion was rescheduled to January 22 when the names of lawyers were omitted from the list. The SGPC had tried to justify it by saying that only the witnesses would be honoured at first, followed by advocates.

On his part, Phoolka, who played a key role in fighting the legal battle for the riot victims, had stirred a controversy by forming Sikh Sewak Army to “depoliticise” the SGPC. Following this, Longowal had called him a “frustrated man”. Now after facing criticism from various quarters for discriminating against Phoolka and following SAD chief Sukhbir Badal’s recommendation, the SGPC has again taken a U-turn to include advocates on the list.

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