Despite sloganeering, the Jathedar continued with his address to the Sikh community. Some Sikh hardliners even raised slogans against Gurbachan Singh. The ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ appointed “parallel” Jathedar Dhian Singh Mand, in his address from the ground floor of the Akal Takht, accused former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of interfering in Sikh religious affairs including in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
The terror modules the Punjab Police claim to have busted lead to the arrest of four youths, including one woman. The cops said that the accused were planning to indulge in large-scale violence and targeted killings under the banner of `Khalistan Zindabad’ to fan communal violence in the sensitive border state.
The youth had come together to form the group – Khalistan Zindabad – after being radicalised over Facebook and other social media platforms. The influencers are allegedly individuals based in Pakistan, various Middle Eastern countries and the United Kingdom.
A police spokesperson said that on the radar of these ‘highly radicalised’ youth were Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar who are accused in anti-Sikh riots of 1984, along with those responsible for incidents of sacrilege and desecration of holy texts over the last two years.
The police claimed that these arrests have come close on the heels of the apprehension of five other members of the group, who were nabbed on 26 May from Bathinda district.
Working in close collaboration with their handlers and associates based in India and abroad, the youth were in the process of mobilising funds, procuring militant hardware, such as weapons, and arranging training for its members. And this was when the Mohali police swooped n on them in an intelligence operation spread over 29 and 30 May.
Those arrested have been identified as Harbarinder Singh of Amritsar, Amritpal Kaur of Ludhiana, Jarnail Singh of Kalanaur in Gurdaspur and Randeep Singh of Gurdaspur.
Unrest in the city
Meanwhile, Patiala police too claim to have busted a pressure cooker bomb-making unit in the city. While the police managed to arrest one Harpreet Singh, his son Rajatvir Singh shot himself dead after escaping from the police near Falauli village on Wednesday night. Rajatvir’s body was found in his house the next morning.
The fact that a similar bomb had been used in the Maur Mandi blast on 20 January, the possibility of the busted unit being part of a bigger terror module is not being ruled out.
On the other hand, the ‘parallel’ Jathedars (Takht chiefs) that had been appointed at a Sarbat Khalsa at Chaba village in Amritsar on 10 November 2015, have turned the heat on the Amarinder government demanding arrest the accused in cases of desecration of holy texts.
According to reports the Jathedars passed resolutions at a recent gathering at Faridkot’s Bargari village reminding Amarinder of his poll promises that included –
– Punishing those responsible for the theft of Guru Granth Sahib from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village
– Action against the desecration incidents in Bargari and other places
– Action against those involved in death of two Sikh protestors during police firing in Behbal Kalan in October 2015
Amarinder has responded with a vow to ensure that anyone found guilty of involvement in the Bargari firing and other incidents related to religious sacrilege and desecration would face strong and exemplary punishment.