LUDHIANA, INDIA: A big Sikh rally was organized here on Sunday by U.A.D. to press for the acceptance of the party’s five demands. These demands pertained to Amnesty to Sikh prisoners, abrogation of black laws. Punishment to November, 84 culprits, reinstatement of army deserters etc. Significantly these demands do not touch the core issues which prompted the Dal to organize its agitation since 1982, namely the stoppage of SYL construction, merger of Punjabi speaking areas in Punjab and the grant of autonomous status to the Punjab in terms of Anandpur Sahib Resolution.

Parkash Singh Badal who addressed the rally, announced yet another protest action in Delhi on March, 21 1988 to be attended by Party leaders, MLAs, MPs, members of the executive and members of the SGPC.

Press estimates about the rally varys; one journalist said that rally site looked deserted in the beginning but as the day passed, Guru Nanak Stadium where it was held, was full. Another correspondent said, it was the biggest Akali gathering in the recent time. There were conflicting reports about the government attitude towards the rally on its eve. A few pressmen suggested that the government had asked the truck operators not to cooperate with the organizers; but the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana denied these reports and said that no such instructions had been received from the State government.

The Longowal Akali Dal leader S.Balwant Singh alleged that | trucks had been provided to the U.A.D. by Mr. Devi Lal. Chief Minister of Haryana.

  1. Parkash Singh Badal at the rally said that the authorities had detained hundreds of trucks, in their absence; party’s attendance was not as impressive as it should have been.

Former education minister, S. Sukhjinder Singh readout three page resolution which was endorsed by the gathering by a show of hands amidst the shouts of “BolesoNihal’, the significant point in the resolution was a call for an open session analysis of the present Sikh situation since RajivLongowal accord had become a relic of the past. It emphasizes that the solution is to be found with the representatives of Shromani Akali Dal and other of regional organizations together. Its terms of reference are Anandpur Sahib Resolution as the Magna Carta of Sikh aspirations. The Dal asked the Political leadership in Delhi to act with statesmanship and take the initiative to prove its credibility by granting a general amnesty to all Punjab detainees and release of UAD president, S. Simaranjit Singh Mann, SGPC president, Tohra, five Sikh head priests, Bhai Jasbir Singh, Gurdev Singh, Jaswant Singh, Savinder Singh and Kashmir Singh and Jodhpur detainees, punishment to the guilty of antiSikh riots, end of fake police encounters, end interference in the Sikh religious affairs, and stop entries into Gurdwaras and repeal of black laws.

Article extracted from this publication >> February 26, 1988