Gurdaspur: Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh condemned the ministry of home affairs’ decision to deny permission for leading a jatha (pilgrim group) to the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan on the centennial of the Nankana Sahib massacre.
A Sikh jatha comprising 600 people were all set to leave for Pakistan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Nankana Sahib massacre or Saka Nankana Sahib when the union home ministry denied permission citing the security and COVID-19 situation there.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the group that led the fight against mahants, on Sunday observed the centenary of the massacre. Addressing the crowd at the memorial event at Godharpur village in Gurdaspur, Jathedar Harpreet Singh said that the government should change its attitude towards the minorities. Shaheed Lachman Singh Dharowali, who led the Sikh jatha to Gurdwara Nankana Sahib to free it from the clutches of mahants back in 1921, belonged to this region.
The Akal Takht Jathedar accused the government of propagating politics of polarization. He said the government is creating hate against Muslims and Sikhs in the minds of the majority. “Today hate is being spread against us. Then we will be thrashed. But Sikhs can’t be executed because even Aurangzeb failed in it. Sikhs are inspired by their glorious history to fight for rights and truth,” he added.
Speaking on the home ministry’s decision, he said, “The government of India has once again reminded us of the pain of Saka Nankana Sahib which took place a hundred years ago. The attitude of the central government towards observing the centenary of Saka Nankana Sahib at the birth place of Guru Nanak is the same as that of the British.”
He said that the government’s decision was in light of Sikhs’ participation in the farmers’ protests and added that the government must be under an illusion if it believes that the Sikhs would withdraw their support for the Kisan Andolan.
The event was attended by the families of martyrs of Saka Nankana Sahib, president of Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal, SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur among others.
An edict has been issued to all the members of SGPC and Delhi Sikh Management committee to conduct memorial congregations for Saka Nankana Sahib in one month period and let people know the fact that the Indian government denied permission for a jatha to visit the holy place on the centennial of the massacre.