Sikh radicals call off ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ over Punjab govt’s refusal of permission

7Radical Sikh leaders on Tuesday cancelled ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ (congregation of the Sikhs) that was to be held in Talwandi Sabo on November 10.
The move came following the Punjab government’s refusal to grant permission for holding the event and preventive detention of around 2,000 people across the state.
Baljit Singh Daduwal, who was appointed the parallel jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib duing the last year’s ‘Sarbat Khalsa’, made the announcement in the evening. He said the organisers will discuss their future course of action at Gurdwara Budha Johar Sahib in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, on November 10. He appealed to representatives of various Sikh organisations to reach the venue.
Daduwal said the decision to cancel the event was taken after discussions with Jagtar Singh Hawara and Dhian Singh Mand. While Hawara, a convict in former chief minister Beant Singh’s assassination case, was appointed the parallel jathedar of the Akal Takht last year, Mand was appointed the acting jathedar.
Accusing the Akali government of committing a sin, Daduwal said it had “banned” ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ to appease anti-Sikh forces. He said the congregation was being organised to discuss Sikh issues, including desecration incidents and police firing on protesters in Faridkot last year.
Bathinda deputy commissioner Basant Garg had on November 5 denied permission for holding the congregation in apprehension of “breach of peace”. The Punjab Police also took around 2,000 people in preventive custody ahead of the event, while many other organising leaders went underground.

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