The Nirankari Mission has expressed satisfaction over the ongoing probe in the Amritsar attack. The regional in-charge of the Mission, Joginder Kaur, visited the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital along with CM Amarinder Singh to see the injured. She avoided any reference to past conflicts and refused to comment on State government’s claim of involvement of separatist powers. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has hinted at the involvement of ISI-backed Khalistani or Kashmiri militant groups in the attack.
“1978 conflict is an old thing now. We have no enmity with anyone,” Kaur said responding to a query. Kaur expressed ignorance as to the reason behind the attack. “We are not able to understand the reason behind the attack because we don’t have bad relations with any individual or group. We do not comment against followers of any religion. We have no enmity with anyone. If anybody has problem with us or our style of preaching, we don’t know why would that be. We are satisfied with ongoing probe,” she said.
She told that CCTV cameras will be installed at all the Nirankari Bhavans in Punjab. “I can’t confirm how many Narankari Bhavans are there in Punjab. There is Bhavan at every 8-9 km. We have already installed CCTV cameras in many of such Bhavans and soon cameras will be installed at all Bhavans.”
She denied having any security arrangements at their congregation centres. “We have no deployment of the police at our Bhavans. We had no idea that anything like this can happen. We never asked for security. Police have said that they will provide security and there are no issues in this. Maybe we have been treated as an easy target,” Kaur revealed.
Three people were killed and around 20 injured in a grenade attack at a prayer hall in Adliwal village near Amritsar’s Rajasansi area on 18th November. The Punjab Police suspected the attack on the Nirankari Bhavan to be a terrorist attack. However, after the preliminary investigation pointed towards the possibility of the involvement of local youth, the local police raided the houses of local Sikh activists in the wee hours of Tuesday.
The grenade attack at the sect’s Dera in Amritsar is being seen as an attempt by the Sikh radicals to disturb communal harmony in Punjab. According to Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora, “Prima facie it appears to be terrorist act. Target is not individual, but a congregation and group of people sitting there. We are investigating the case and can reveal more only after the investigation.”
As per the information, a Dal Khalsa member Gurjant Singh has been taken in custody. Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh Bittu expressed grief over the loss of lives and said the police and investigative agencies should probe the attack thoroughly without any prejudice and not see it only from the prism of the Sikh-Nirankari clash of 1978.
The Nirankari-Sikh relationship was by and large peaceful until the day of Baisakhi of 1978 when a brutal clash between the Sikhs led by Fauja Singh and the Nirankari convention in Amritsar left several dead and a majority of them were Sikhs. However, this was not a sudden clash and the conflict had been building up for a long time. The Nirankari is a heretic movement within Sikhism with the main difference being that of belief. The Nirankari believed in a physical guru opposed to the Sikhs’ belief in scriptural guru (Guru Granth Saheb).
Punjab is also currently on a high alert following an input by Counter Intelligence Wing of the state police about the presence of nearly seven Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists in the state.