Bathinda, Punjab: Fearing showdown, police ‘force’ villagers to hasten bhog ceremony
The police today forced residents of Kot Shamir village here to hold the “bhog” ceremony of a “path’’ at Jandalisar Gurdwara before its scheduled time. Sources said the police wanted to limit the gathering at the Gurdwara in the wake of ongoing tension over its possession between followers of Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal and the SGPC.
The “path” was held by Paramjit Singh Pamma of Kot Shamir village. Its “bhog” was scheduled at 10 am, but the administration deployed around 250 policemen and forced Pamma’s family to hold the “bhog” at 8 am. None of the villagers could attend the ceremony.
The historical Gurdwara was reportedly handed over to Sikh preacher Daduwal in 1998 by the panchayats of 11 villages.
His followers are annoyed over the attempts of the SGPC to take over the shrine. They have planned to hold a number of “bhog” ceremonies in the Gurdwara to maintain its possession.
Pamma, son of a former sarpanch, said: “Every year we hold the ‘bhog’ at the Gurdwara in memory of my mother. But this year, the police on directions of the state government forced us to hold the ceremony before its scheduled time.”
Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, Superintendent of Police, Bathinda, denied the allegations. He said: “We have nothing to do with personal and religious ceremonies. But the police force was deployed in the morning as we had information of a likely law and order problem at the shrine. It is our duty to prevent such a situation.”
Source: The Tribune