Mohali, Punjab: Upset over Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh’s statement that hunger strikes and indefinite fast were against Sikh principles, the management committee of ‘Bandi Sikh Rehai Lehar’ (campaign to release Sikh prisoners) today asked the Jathedar to clear his stand on the issue.
Members of various Sikh bodies have been supporting the protest at Gurdwara Amb Sahib here to seek the release of community members languishing in various prisons despite completion of their jail terms in terrorism-related cases.
Harpal Singh Cheema, acting president of SAD (Panj Pardhani), said: “We doubt whether the Jathedar can give such a statement. But in case he has, he must clear his stand.” Cheema is a member of the management committee of ‘Bandi Sikh Rehai Lehar’.
The Jathedar had yesterday said fast-unto-death by Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa and Damandeep Singh violated Sikh tenets.
Cheema claimed the Jathedar had visited the gurdwara thrice to meet Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who had been fasting since November 14 before being forcibly lifted by the police three days ago. Gurbaksh was replaced by Damandeep.
“Even Giani Gurbachan Singh was part of the religious group that had performed ‘ardas’ before flagging off the ‘Bandi Sikh Rehai March’ from Amritsar to Mohali on Wednesday,” said Cheema.
Earlier, several Sikh bodies had decided to depute their armed supporters at Gurdwara Amb Sahib here to thwart any police action.
Akali Takht chief Jathedar Gurbachan Singh was reported to have said that hunger strike and indefinite fast were against the principles of Sikhism, thus displeasing the protesting Sikh sangat of Mohali.