Perneet Singh, Tribune News Service
Amritsar, February 25. The Sikh high priests again did not take up actor Amitabh Bachchan’s letter, pleading innocence in the 1984 riots, during their meeting at the Akal Takht Secretariat here today.
However, the All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) handed over “evidence” against Bachchan to the Sikh clergy. AISSF chief Karnail Singh Peermohammed said the “evidence”, including an affidavit and a CD, had been sent to them by California-based Manjit Singh Saini. He claims himself to be an “eyewitness” to the alleged incident in which Bachchan, also known as Big B, was reportedly instigating the crowd against the Sikhs outside the AIIMS in New Delhi on October 31, 1984, the day the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated.
Then, Saini used to live at Kalu Sarai in Hauz Khas, New Delhi, along with his parents and siblings. Peermohammed claimed Saini had sent them the “evidence” in a sealed envelope, which they submitted to the Sikh clergy as it is.
In his affidavit, Saini explained the entire sequence of events as he claimed to have witnessed on and after October 31, 1984.
Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said they had received some documents from Peermohammed and Bibi Jagdish Kaur, a key witness in Sajjan Kumar case, pertaining to the Bachchan issue and they would look into the matter during their next meeting.
Meanwhile, the Sikh clergy pronounced “tankhah” (punishment for religious misconduct) against Prof Sarabjit Singh Dhunda for his objectionable remarks regarding the recitation of “Gurbani” at the Golden Temple. The “tankhah” was pronounced after Dhunda appeared before the clergy to clarify his stand on the controversy. He had also tendered a written apology. The situation was tense when Prof Dhunda arrived at the meeting venue as a large number of Sikh Students Federation (Mehta) activists were present outside. Had he not apologised before the Sikh clergy, the situation could have taken an ugly turn.
There was heavy presence of the SGPC task force, besides cops in civvies, to deal with any untoward situation.
In another move, the Sikh high priests have instructed all gurdwara committees to ensure that only baptised Sikhs should be engaged as “raagis” and “paathis”. The Sikh clergy has also recommended to the SGPC to felicitate marathon man Fauja Singh and Sikh intellectual Saroop Singh Alag. Earlier, the high priests released the amended Nanakshahi (New Year) calendar.
Jathedar pledges eyes
Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh on Saturday pledged his eyes in the presence of representatives of the Eye Donation Association, Hoshiarpur. He has become the second incumbent of the key post to have pledged his eyes. His predecessor Joginder Singh Vedanti had done the same during his stint.
‘All Birs in Bihar safe’
In view of the recent recovery of an ancient ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib from three persons in New Delhi, Takht Sri Patna Sahib Jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh has said that all the “birs” at Takht Sri Patna Sahib were safe and secure.