Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday warned that his government will not tolerate any attempt to create a rift between communities and will deal with anyone trying to disturb the state’s secular fabric with an iron hand.
In an informal interaction with mediapersons on the second day of the 3-day Shaheedi Jor Mel here this morning, the Chief Minister said the Sikh religion propagated communal harmony, which nobody would be allowed to disturb. Recalling the supreme sacrifice of 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh ji’s youngest sons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh, and his mother, Mata Gujri, Captain Amarinder said the peace for which they laid their lives would be sustained at all costs.
The Chief Minister was responding to a question on the recent vandalisation of a statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Captain Amarinder warned the Akalis against repeating such incidents, and pointed out that there were statues of several senior Akali leaders also in various parts of the state. His government would protect each and every one of them too, just as it was committed to protecting the statues of senior leaders of other political parties, he asserted.
Referring to the frustrated attempts being made by the Akalis to spread communal hatred by fanning the flames of the 1984 riots and dragging the Gandhi family into the case, the Chief Minister said Rajiv Gandhi was not even there when the violence erupted. In fact, Sukhbir Singh Badal was studying in the United States and Bikram Singh Majithia was studying somewhere in state or Patiala at the time of the riots and were not even in the know of the developments, which they were not trying to exploit in the name of religion to gain political mileage, he added.
It was evident that the Akalis were indulging in petty politics and trying to disrupt the harmony between communities, said Captain Amarinder, adding that he would not allow anyone to indulge in such politics of hate.
In response to another query regarding the Prime Minister’s proposed political rally at Gurdaspur on January 3, the Chief Minister said that Narendra Modi was holding such rallies in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. But the state Congress leadership was fully geared to once again wipe out the Akali-BJP alliance from Punjab, he added.
On the issue of the overall development of historic city of Fatehgarh Sahib, the Chief Minister announced that a Chowk (roundabout) in the memory of legendary Sikh warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur would be soon constructed by the State Government. He said that all other invited MLAs to bring to his notice any other requirement for the development of the area.
The Chief Minister, who earlier paid obeisance at the historic Gurdwara and later partook the langar on the auspicious occasion, expressed happiness that no political conference was taking place during the Mel, which was not an occasion for such rallies. The lakhs of people who had congregated for the Shaheedi Jor Mel had come here not to listen to political speeches but to pay their respects to Guru Gobind Singh ji’s martyred sons, whose sacrifice could never be forgotten, said the Chief Minister.
Notably, Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib, located 5 km north of Sirhind where the Sahibzadas were killed on December 26, 1705, marks the site of their live entombment and is a revered Sikh religious site. The Shaheedi Jor Mel, being held here since time immemorial, is a mark of respect to remember the supreme sacrifice of the sons and mother of the 10th Sikh Guru.
Prominent amongst others present on the occasion were Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha Rana KP Singh, CM’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral, Advisor Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, MLA Fatehgarh Sahib Kuljit Singh Nagra, MLA Bassi Pathana Gurpreet Singh GP and MLA Payal Lakhbir Singh Lakha. Besides, Special Principal Secretary to CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, IG Ropar Range V Neerja, Deputy Commissioner Fatehgarh Sahib Shivdular Singh Dhillon and SSP Alka Meena.>