AMRITSAR, PUNJAB—Leadership once again failed completely at guiding Sikh community, and getting rid of differences that exist within various organizations. This year’s 30th anniversary of Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) invasion programs turned into shameful events when a clash broke out between members of SGPC task force and SAD (A) activists.
Sikh Sangat had started gathering at Sri Harmandir Sahib and Akal Takht Sahib early in the morning to pay respects to the martyrs of 1984. A large gathering was present outside Sri Akal Takht Sahib to listen to speeches being made by various leaders. Sikh congregation raised pro-Khalistan slogans openly while commemoration programs were being held inside Akal Takht Sahib as well.
The SGPC has blamed members of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and Bhai Amrik Singh Ajnala’s group for the clashes. SGPC wanted to finish the commemoration programs after a speech by Giani Gurbachan Singh, appointed Jathedar, however Sikh groups present inside Akal Takht Sahib demanded that S. Simranjit Singh Mann also share few words from the stage.
Members of the task force were seen using historical ‘shastars’ to force the Sikh Sangat out of Akal Takht Sahib. S. Mann had spoken from the stage earlier in the day, however SGPC was adamant about not allowing him time in presence of large sangat.
This is not the first time a violent clash has taken place. S. Mann has often been refused speaking time by the SGPC for his pro-Khalistan and anti-Badal views. A similar incident had taken place in 2006 where a number of Sikhs were injured in clashes between the same organizations.