AMRITSAR, India: The acting Jathedar of Akal Takht Prof. Darshan Singh justified the call for the closure of all liquor, cigarette and tobacco and other such shops in the state by the Khalistan Commando Force and subsequent burning of these, saying that these were social evils and such action was imperative to ensure a healthy society.
Further he described as baseless and untrue reports appearing in a section of the press that he was having a secret dialogue with Union Home Minister Buta Singh. Talking to newsmen in Guru Ram Dass Hall near the city Kotwali he alleged that Mr. Abhnashi Singh, Asst. Secretary of S.G.P.C. has been abducted by C.R.P.F. with the intention of giving S.G.P.C. A jolt. He said that Dr. Baldev Singh Brar has been made a scapegoat as Mr. Abhnashi Singh had stopped going out alone in the night ever since an abortive attempt was made on his life by unknown assailants in December 1984.
Jathedar Darshan Singh offered to appeal to the militants to stop burning the liquor shops which was a part of their 31 point programme provided the government offered to do away with this evil within six months. He pointed out to the statuary warning on the cigarettes packages he said that on one hand the government was warning against smoking while on the other hand encouraging the cigarette and liquor production.
Clarifying on the closure of barber shops he said that all such shops were opened for Hindus but closed for Sikhs. When it was brought to his notice that militants threatened to kill anyone who refused to obey their order he said that it was the only way to eradicate the social evil.
If the government declares that the smoking and drinking were good for the public then perhaps the militant’s warning is ignored. Even the opium addicted persons would not be spared by the militants, he said.
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Article extracted from this publication >> April 10, 1987