Rebel Akali leaders seek apology from Akal Takht Jathedar for sacrilege incidents

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Rebel Akali leaders seek apology from Akal Takht Jathedar for sacrilege incidents

Amritsar: A rebel group of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday submitted a letter to the Akal Takht Jathedar in the Golden Temple complex here, seeking an apology for incidents during the party’s 10-year stint in Punjab from 2007.

The incidents comprise hurting religious sentiments of the Sikh community by self-styled godman and Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by allegedly performing an imitation of Guru Gobind Singh at the sect’s dera in 2007, sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 and appointment of Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Saini.

The rebels, comprising former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, former Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, and former minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, appealed to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh that they “are ready to face any punishment that the Akal Takht may deem appropriate.”

In a letter to the Akal Takht Jathedar, they “admitted guilt” over “mistakes committed” by the party leadership that have “hurt” the Sikh Panth.

The letter claimed that Sukhbir Badal, now Akali Dal Chief, allegedly used his influence to pardon the Dera Sacha Sauda chief in the blasphemy case.

“You can call the then jathedar of Sri Akal Takht and seek his clarification,” reads the letter.

“But the leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiromani committee had to withdraw this decision keeping in mind the anger and resentment of the Sikh panth,” it added.

The Akal Takht had pardoned the Dera Sacha Sauda Chief in the blasphemy case in a written apology in 2015.

The President of the Akali Dal and ex-Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal on December 15, 2023, expressed his regret while speaking at the 103rd foundation day of the party for the failure to apprehend the individuals responsible for the sacrilege incidents.

Meanwhile, the Istri Akali Dal on Monday expressed faith in the leadership of Akali Dal Chief Sukhbir Badal and said he was best suited to lead the party at this juncture.

The entire rank and file of the Istri Akali Dal said party president Sukhbir Badal had provided inspiring leadership to lead an effective campaign in the form of the Punjab Bachao Yatra.

The members said the Istri Akali Dal had reached out to the women and a concerted effort in Bathinda by its president Hargobind Kaur had paid dividends with party candidate Harsimrat Kaur Badal winning the seat with a handsome margin.

Speaking on the occasion, the SAD President said the party had chalked out a plan to expand the Istri Akali Dal and ensure it reached every village and booth in the State.

“We have decided to ensure the election of booth, village, circle and constituency level committees headed by their respective presidents. We will also ensure election of district-level committees of the Istri Akali Dal”.

Sukhbir Badal said the party would also create an effective women leadership in the party so that strong candidates could be fielded for block samiti and zila parishad polls for seats reserved for women candidates.

 


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