The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has punished its three staffers for honouring Inspector General (IG) of Police Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh who is probing role of former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal in Behbal Kalan Police firing that killed two peaceful Sikh protesters, and Kotakapura firing that injured many Sikh protesters.
Kunwar heads the special investigation team (SIT) that is probing the firing incidents and has recently filed chargesheet against Punjab ex-DGP Sumedh Saini and IG Paramraj Umranangal, who is under suspension, in case of these incidents.
He came to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj (Shaheedan Sahib) on January 27 and attended a Kirtan Darbar organized by the SGPC to celebrate the birth anniversary of Shaheed Baba Deep Singh. The Sikh Students Federation (Mehta) president Amarbir Singh Dhot was also accompanying him. On the stage of function, he was given ‘siropa’ (robe of honour) for showing dedication in solving the case of firing that had sparked unprecedented fury among the Sikh masses across the world.
However, the act angered the authorities of the apex gurdwara body working under the direct control of the Badals who have been opposing induction of Kunwar in the SIT. On February 3, Bhai Harpreet Singh, manager of the historic gurdwara, and his two junior employees got an order for their transfer. While the manager was shifted to Sri Anandpur Sahib as punishment, others were sent to Baba Bakala Sahib and Sultanpur Lodhi.
Notably, Kunwar exposed the role of Badals in the firing ordered to disperse the peaceful protests being undertaken by the Sikh devotees to seek justice in Guru Granth Sahib’s sacrilege took place in Bargari village and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala in Faridkot district. Being deputy CM of Punjab, Sukhbir was on helm of State’s home department that controls the Police.
This is not the first instance when the SGPC punished its employees for their acts that go against the vested interests of Badals.
In June, 2016, ‘ardasia’ Bhai Balbir Singh, upset over the sacrilege, refused to give ‘siropa’ to the then Chief Minister Parkash Badal inside Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple). Punishing him, the then SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar shifted him to Gurdwara Machhiwara Sahib. Besides, Akal Takht Sahib’s Panj Pyare (five beloved ones of Sikhs) were also sacked for challenging SGPC-appointed jathedar of Takht Sahib Gurbachan Singh’s act of pardoning Dera Sirsa chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in blasphemy case. Gurmukh Singh, the then SGPC-appointed jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib disclosed that the pardon was granted on directions of Badals who wanted support of the Dera followers.