LUDHIANA, Punjab, India: The Unified Akali Dal led by Baba Joginder Singh today described as “illegal and unconstitutional” the UPD meeting held yesterday at Patiala.

The meeting held at Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran here said that the person who (Mr Amarinder Singh) called the meeting was neither a member of the party Presidium nor Council and had no authority to convince the meeting. There was only one council member, Mr Parkash Singh Majitha, who participated at the meeting.

Mr Harcharan Singh Rode and Mr Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who briefed newsmen, said there were 18 members of the Presidium and) Council and not 31 as claimed by rival faction leaders.

They warned the Centre that unless the five head priests led by Bhai Jasbir Singh Khalsa, Mr. Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Akali Dal, Jodhpur detainees, Army deserters and other detained Akali leaders were released there would be no peace in Punjab.

The meeting sought the scrapping of “black laws against the Sikhs” and end to “fake” police encounters. Unless these excesses were stopped, the situation would continue to deteriorate, leaders said.

The meeting further said that Mr. Simranjit Singh Mann was the supreme leader of the Sikhs and the Centre should hold talks with him and the militant organizations to find a solution to the Punjab problem. The Centre was also warned against imposing any government stooge as the leader of the Sikh.

‘The meeting reiterated that Bhai Jasbir Singh Khalsa and his four associate priests were supreme for the Sikhs and it had been exposed that the SGPC Executive had been working at the behest of the Central Government. The meeting took exception to the appearance of Mr. Susjit Singh Barnala at Akal Takht and said that the government was getting him pardoned by. Its own nominated priests.

It cautioned the Sikhs, that it was now Home Minister Buta Singh’s turn to be pardoned by the “so called” priests.

Article extracted from this publication >> July 22, 1988