According to the latest news dispatches the package of so called concessions announced by Rajiv Gandhi has failed to elicit positive response from the people. “Too little too late,” “insufficient to contain separations and alienation of Sikhs” are the general feelings of the man in the state. People express doubt about the credibility of the government after the re arrest of large number of Jodhpur detainees.

Presence of large pose of paramilitary forces in the state, unquestioned and unchecked control of the so called law and order machinery by the corrupt and brute police force and prohibition on entry of amnesty international and other international human right groups are some of the topics people discuss. In the atmosphere of police repression and the deaths of innocent people at the hands of police, is such that discussions are held in whispering voices in intimately known groups.

Punjab continues to bleed, Violence is still rampant. A bomb exploded in the outskirts of GoIden Temple, Amritsar on March 24 killing two people. A head constable, three freedom fighters and two Pakistani Intruders are among the fifteen people killed in the last 24 hours,

A villager Darshan Singh was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen near Labher Ghuman vil lage under Tamm Tarn police station. He was on a moped. Another unidentified person was killed in Matarare village under Bhadson police station in Patiala district.

Three freedom fighters were shot dead and two escaped in two separate incidents of encounters with police in Hoshiarpur district. The names of the dead are not disclosed.

A Punjab police spokesman told the reporters that a Central Reserve Police Force Constable Randhir Singh opened fire while on duty killing head constable Kaushi Ram and injuring Naik Dr, Shinde.

He further said that two more freedom fighters were shot dead by security forces at a canal bridge near Sausarpur village under Hazipur police station. One Labh Singh was killed by unidentified persons at Kutahgarh in Gurdaspur district.

Two freedom fighters Mohinder Singh and Balkar Singh were shot dead in Khem Karan sector, police spokesman also claimed to have shot Ganda Singh of Khalistan Liberation Force, Kashmir Singh was shot while crossing the Border and police recovered an important document from the body.

The Akali unity remains as elusive as ever. The unwritten part of the package one united Akali Dal much needed for installation of Akali ministry in the state has once again run into rough weather.

The Akali Dal (Mann) and Baba Joginder Singh have come down heavily on Capt. Amarinder Singh blaming him for hurting the panthic interest at the instance of the Centre. They have disowned the unity moves and said Capt. Amarinder Singh had no authority to speak on behalf of the jailed leader, Simranjit Singh Mann.

Talwandi’s “decision” announced at Ludhiana cancelling the proposed conventions at Amritsar and Longowal on March 16 have caused surprise in Akali Dal (L) circles. No leader of the party it is pointed out was present at the meeting which took the decision. Mr. Balwant Singh who was indeed present stood expelled from the party.

The Akali Dal (Mann) Presidium which concluded its two-day meeting this morning condemned Capt. Amarinder Singh’s announcement saying it was “misleading, ludicrous and baseless,” to say that Simranjit Singh Mann had blessed the move.

Briefing newsmen, Mr. Charanjit Singh Walia, Secretary General of the party said he and several others including Mr. Sucha Singh Chhotepur had last met Mann in the courtroom on March 7. There ‘was no question of Mann accepting the office of patron which in any case did not exist. Mann, he claimed, had the blessings of the Damdami Taksal and had been reelected president of the party for a two year term on January 27.

Capt. Amarinder Singh, he said had stabbed the panth in the back.

He had no authority to speak on behalf of Mann.

“He is an compulsive liar”, He came down heavily on Talwandi as well, describing the latter as one who had brought down the Akali government with the help of the Centre and had been charged with misappropriating Gurdwara funds. “Such a person will never be acceptable to the community as president of the Akali Dal,” he added.

A resolution adopted by the party, said the “package” announced by the Prime Minister would not solve the problem. It wanted a general amnesty, end of repression and “fake encounter” withdrawal of black laws and compensation for those kept in Jodhpur jail without trial.

It demanded fresh elections to the SGPC to end mismanagement of Gurdwaras and urged the people to unanimously elect panches and sarpanches in the coming panchayat elections. Youth and those who had suffered during the past few years should be elected, it added.

The former Finance: Minister Mr. Balwant Singh hailed the merger of the rival Akali factions and said that the party’s next step should be to join hands with the Opposition and democratic forces which were opposed to the Government’s unjust policies and wanted a change at the Centre. Only a new Government at the Centre could give justice to the Sikhs.

Mr. Sujan Singh, Mr. Jagdey Singh Sidhu and a few other UAD leaders also hailed the role played by Capt. Amannder Singh in bringing about the Akali unity and demanded immediate release of ‘Mr. Badal, Mr. Tohra‘and Mr. Mann. Their release would strengthen the democrative forces in Punjab.

Talking with newsmen here this evening Baba Joginder Singh denied that Mr. Simranjit Singh had accepted the Patronship of the new Akali Dal. He said his party’s constitution had\no provision for the appointment of Patron.





Article extracted from this publication >>  March 31, 1989