Community’s figure Bhai Rajoana should abandon idea of hunger strike: Harjinder Singh Dhami

Led by Harjinder Singh Dhami, SGPC executive held serious discussion on Bhai Rajoana’s letter

Amritsar, November 30- After a serious discussion on the case of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana in an urgent executive meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) held today, it has been decided to call a meeting of representatives of Panthic parties to consult the matter on December 2. This special meeting of the SGPC executive was held under the leadership of its President Harjinder Singh Dhami, in which the letter sent by Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana was discussed for about three hours. The meeting was called on 72 hours notice only on a one-point agenda.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Harjinder Singh Dhami said that in the letter sent by Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana, he had asked the SGPC to withdraw its mercy petition filed for him and also mentioned starting a hunger strike on December 5. He said that this matter is very serious, on which a decision can be taken only according to the common opinion after knowing the views of the Panthic representatives. In 2012, a mercy petition was filed to the President of India by the SGPC in the case of Bhai Rajoana’s death sentence, in view of the larger interests of the community in line with the Panthic sentiments. He said it would be premature for the SGPC to take any decision on this petition on its own. Therefore, the executive has decided that it is necessary to take the views of various Panthic parties, in view of which a meeting will be held with the Panthic representatives on December 2. In this meeting, Panthic representatives from the 11-member committee formed earlier on the issue of Sikh prisoners on the directions of Sri Akal Takht Sahib will be invited, besides some more representatives. He said that after this, the SGPC will again convene its executive meeting so that a concrete decision can be taken according to the Panthic sentiments.

The SGPC President said that in today’s executive meeting, Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana was also appealed to withdraw his decision to hunger strike. He said that Bhai Rajoana is a community figure, who gave a firm response to the atrocities and suppression of rights in Punjab and especially of the Sikhs during the dark period. The whole community respects him and due to his contribution, he has been given the title of Zinda Shaheed (Living Martyr) by Sri Akal Takht Sahib. The SGPC is continuously working for this warrior of the community and will stand by him like a rock in the future as well.

Harjinder Singh Dhami strongly criticized the Government of India over its negative approach in the case of Bhai Rajoana. He said that in 2019, the Centre government had announced the commutation of the death sentence of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana to life imprisonment, but it is unfortunate that the government has not implemented the decision till now. Later, the government also ignored the orders of the Supreme Court on the petition of Bhai Rajoana. This negative attitude of the Centre government is going to make the Sikhs feel alienated. He said that the governments are creating an environment of mistrust among the Sikhs, which is not in the interest of the country.

Present in the executive meeting included SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami, senior vice-president Harbhajan Singh Masana, junior vice-president Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, general secretary Bhai Rajinder Singh Mehta, executive members Mohan Singh Bangi, Raghbir Singh Saharanmajra, Jasmair Singh Lachhru, Indermohan Singh Lakhmirwala, Gurpreet Singh Jhabbar, Bibi Malkit Kaur Kamalpur, Amarjit Singh Bhaliapur, Bibi Jaspal Kaur, Jaswant Singh Purain, SGPC secretary Partap Singh, OSD Satbir Singh Dhami, assistant secretary Gurdial Singh and others.