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S.A.D.-A. Demands Gurdwara at 1 Safdarjung Road
The Sikh Times condemns S.A.D.-A.'s resolution (calling for martyrdom for Indira Gandhi's assassins) as irresponsible sensationalism. Instead we call for martyrdom to be awarded to Jaswant Singh Khalra, general secretary of the Akali Dal's human rights wing, who was 'disappeared' from his Amritsar home on the morning of September 6, 1995. At the time of his 'disappearance,' Khalra had initiated public interest litigation on 'what has come to be known as the matter of police abductions leading to secret cremations in Punjab' (Reduced to Ashes, p. 3).
The Times of India, Fatehgarh Sahib (Punjab, India), Nov. 1, 2003
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) [S.A.D.-A.] on Friday passed a resolution, demanding 300 square yards of land at 1 Safdarjung Road, New Delhi, the official residence of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, to construct a gurdwara in the memory of her assassins Beant Singh and Satwant Singh. The resolution was presented by S.A.D.-A. president Simranjit Singh Mann at a function held to commemorate the 'martyrdom' of Beant Singh. At another function, the S.A.D.-A. honoured Beant Singh's two sons and dreaded terrorist Sukha's mother.
Mann said this resolution would also be tabled at the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (S.G.P.C.) meeting scheduled to be held on Nov. 20 at Amritsar. The S.A.D.-A. asked Akal Takht jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti to declare Beant Singh, Satwant Singh, and Kehar Singh as martyrs. Vedanti also addressed the gathering, but did not speak a word about the S.A.D.-A.'s demand. However, he indirectly justified Beant's action. Vedanti and Mann lashed out at the organisers of the recent World Sikh Sammelan [Convention] held at Chandigarh [on October 26, 2003].
While Vedanti called them budhujiwi (foolish) rather than budhijiwi (intellectuals), Mann went a step ahead by refusing to accept them as Sikhs. About their statements that they would contest for the post of S.G.P.C. president, he said that only Sikhs could participate in these elections. On the issue of Dasam Granth, he said that it was a non-issue as Guru Gobind Singh had installed Guru Granth Sahib as the Guru of Sikhs and to hold conferences on non-issues was meaningless. Reacting to S.A.D. president Parkash Singh Badal's appeal to the Sikh community to launch an agitation on the lines of the Punjabi Suba Morcha, Mann said the panth was always ready to hold morchas for a just cause.