Chandigarh, March 29 (KMS): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has asked Bhagwant Mann, chief minister of Indian Punjab, to apologise to the Sikh community for “insulting the highest temporal seat of Sikhism”, the Akal Takht.
Bhagwant Mann, a day ago, had questioned the Akal Takht’s ultimatum for releasing youth picked up during crackdown against pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh and his supporters.
Addressing a Press conference, senior SAD leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema also asked the CM to seek forgiveness from the supreme temporal seat for filing a complaint to remove a tweet of the the Akal Takht Jathedar from social media besides accusing the latter of inflaming passions.
“Everyone knows the opposite is true. Jathedar Sahib convened a meeting of intellectuals and political leaders to discuss the state crackdown against innocent Sikh youth. Respecting the sentiments of the ‘sangat [meeting]’ an ultimatum was given to release the innocent youth within 24 hours. Instead of respecting this religious directive, the CM chose to not only insult Jathedar Sahib but also previous Jathedars of Sri Akal Takht Sahib besides politicising a case which was essentially one of human rights abuses,” the SAD leader said.
All this, he added, had hurt Sikh sentiments.
Dr Cheema said instead of realising his mistake, the CM was displaying arrogance. He said it was a fact that the state government was forced to release a large number of Sikh youth who had been arrested on trivial charges. He demanded that all pending cases against the youth who had secured bail following the recent crackdown should be withdrawn. He also demanded a stop to state repression against youth, intelligentsia, artists and media persons.
Blaming the CM for defaming Punjabis in league with the Modi government, Dr Cheema said the current politics of polarisation was aimed at taking Punjab back to an era of darkness.