Jagtar Singh Hawara, who is well known for former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh’s assassin is again in news as he has been named the new Jathedar of Akal Takth. The decision was taken by Sarbat Khalsa on 10th November, 2015 where tens of thousands of Sikhs had gathered at village Chabba on the outskirts of Amritsar.
Jagtar Singh Hawara was arrested after Beant Singh’s assassin and was kept at Burail jail, Chandigarh. In year 2004, he escaped from the high security jail through a 90 feet tunnel. He had been again arrested by Thailand Police and handed over to Indian authorities few months back. Jagtar Singh Hawara is a member of Babbar Khalsa group and is an activist of the Khalistan movement to make Punjab a separate country.
Sarbat Khalsa had been called due to recent incidents of disrespect to the holy book of Sikha – Guru Granth Sahib Ji. During the sabha, it was stated that Punjab Government and the Jathedars of 5 Takths had not been able to find the root cause of the problem, causing hurt to religious sentiments of Sikhs. It was therefore decided during the Sarbat Khalsa that 4 Jathedars should be made free from their services.
The announcement of new Jathedars came as a surprise to everyone. As Jagtar Singh Hawara is presently in police custody, an interim jathedar was made on his behalf. The new jathedars according to Sarbat Khalsa are as follow:
- Jathedar, Akal Takth: Jagtar Singh Hawara. (Interim: Dhain Singh Mand)
- Jathedar, Takth Damdama Sahib, Baljeet Singh Daduwal.
- Jathedar, Takht Keshgarh Sahib Amrik Singh Ajnala.
Apart from appointing these new jathedars, Sarbat Khalsa also announced few other things which include taking away the title “Fakre-e-Qaum” and “Panth Rattan” from Prakash Singh Badal and the title of “Shiromani Sewak” from Makkar. According to the sources from Sarbat Khalsa, the new jathedars will be addressing the Sikh community from the Akal Takth tomorrow.
As all these develpments took place, Avtar Singh Makkar said that anti social elements cannot take any decisions on their own and the power to appoint or dismiss a jathedar lies with SGPC.
Source: The Tribune, 10th November, 2015.