ROPAR: Mr. Harinder Singh, acting President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), has alleged that government agents are behind the murder of Mr. Balbir Singh, Jathedar of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib who was shot dead last evening near Morinda.

Talking to The Tribune at Kiratpur Sahib after the cremation of Mr. Balbir Singh, the acting President said the murder had been done to sabotage the efforts to forge unity among various factions of the Akali Dal.

Mr. Balbir Singh was one of the five priests who had initiated the move to end the ex-communication of Mr. Sujit Singh Barnala.

Mr. Harinder Singh said his party had named the persons involved in the murderous attack on Mr. Jagdev Singh Talwandi but the Government had taken no action against them.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chandra SheKhar, Senior Superident of Police, Ropar, said the persons involved in the murder of Mr. Balbir Singh had been identified. He said it was an inter-districts gang and it was also involved in several murders in Bela area.

Mr. Shekhar said three magazines and 106 cartridges, including 40 empties had been recovered from the site where the jathedar was shot dead. He said the killers used automatic weapons. It appeared that the assailants had been waiting in the nearby sugarcane fields since morning to ambush the car in which Mr. Balbir Singh was travelling.

Mr. Balbir Singh was cremated this evening on the bank of Sutlej near Gurdwara Patalpuri Sahib at Kiratpur Sahib. Among those who attended the funeral were Mr. Darshan Singh Jathedarr of the Akal Takht, employees of the SGPC and Mr. Harinder Singh.No senior AKali Leader was present.

Article extracted from this publication >> December 30, 1988