Sikh institutions denigrated by Badals: Congress

The authority of Sikh institutions has been "denigrated" under the Akali Dal-led regime in Punjab, Congress alleged on Monday.

Chandigarh: The authority of Sikh institutions has been "denigrated" under the Akali Dal-led regime in Punjab, Congress on Sunday said even as it remained non-committal over the issue of 'Sarbat Khalsa' saying the party does not interfere in religious affairs of the community.

Punjab Congress President Partap Singh Bajwa today parried direct reply on the 'Sarbat Khalsa' (congregation of Sikhs) scheduled to be held at Amritsar tomorrow by certain section of hardliners and some Sikh organisations.

 "Congress is a secular party. It does not interfere in the religious affairs of Sikh community," he told reporters here.

Over the issue of 'Sarbat Kahlsa', Bajwa said, "in the past 10 years both deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal have denigrated the authority of Sikh institutions."

"The denigration of Sikh institutions has been done allegedly by Sukhbir under the 'direct patronage' of RSS... ," he said.

Referring to the recent developments of incidents of sacrilege and public outrage on top Sikh reverred seats, he alleged that "this all is being done under a tacit understanding with the RSS by Sukhbir."

On the "flip-flop" of Akal Takht over exoneration of Dera Sacha Sauda Sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and events unfolding thereafter like suspension of 'Panj Pyaras' (five Sikh religious preachers) and then revocation of their suspension by SGPC, Bajwa said the "RSS is behind it."

"There is an outrage of public against Badals," he said adding that 'Sarbat Khalsa' is a religious affair purportedly to be held to "minimise the control" of Badals on the Sikh institutions.

On the issue of replacement of Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini with Suresh Arora, he said that "Saini had been made a scapegoat."

"Responsibilities of all the incidents directly lies with Sukhbir. He can't run away from the responsibilities," he said.

Endorsing the Punjab government's stand to hand over the probe into incidents of sacrilege to the CBI, he said that "the inquiry must be monitored by a judge of Supreme Court or High Court in a time-bound manner."

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