April 2002 News

Rift among J-K Sikh bodies

4 April 2002
The Tribune

Jammu: Sikh organisations in Jammu and Kashmir have been locked in a rift and some of these units have even started washing their dirty linen in public. At a recent press conference, the president of the state unit of Akali Dal (B), Mr H.S. Raina, had blamed some Sikh organisations and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra for dividing the community in the state with the assistance of the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah. The All-India Sikh Students Federation, Youth Sarva Hind Akali Dal, Bhai Kanahiya Nishkam Seva Society, Sikh Naujwan Sabha, Youth Akali Dal and others today berated Akali Dal (B) leaders for levelling “false” charges against “our leaders”, especially Mr Tohra, Dr Abdullah and Mahant Manjit Singh. Mr Paramjit Singh president of the AISSF, Mr Narbir Singh, president, youth sarva Hind Akali Dal, Mr Mohinder Singh, chief organiser, Bhai Kanahiya Nishkam Seva Society, and Mr Kulwant Singh, chief adviser, Sikh Naujawan Sabha, told newsmen here today that the contribution made by Mahant Manjit Singh in the emancipation of the Sikh community in Jammu and Kashmir was unparalleled. They said Mahant Manjit Singh was solely responsible for the opening of several educational institutions, including professional colleges, in Jammu where Sikh youth got an opportunity to advance their careers. The Sikh leaders held Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Punjab Chief Minister, responsible for the split in the Sikh sangat not only in Punjab but also in Jammu and Kashmir. They demanded a CBI inquiry and a probe by the state Crime Branch in the activities and amassing of huge assets by leaders of Akali Dal (B) in Jammu and Kashmir. These leaders wanted to know from Mr Badal and Mr H.S. Raina what contribution they had made in battering the lot of the Sikh community in Jammu and Kashmir. They appealed to the community to remain united and defeat the BJP and the Akali Dal (B) candidates in the next Assembly poll in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP and its Akali Dal (B) supporters have already faced defeat in the recent Lok Sabha poll in the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency and panchayat elections.


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