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SGPC blames CM for gurdwara clash at Sultanpur Lodhi

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Monday blamed Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann for the November 23 clash at Gurdwara Akal Bunga in Sultanpur Lodhi that had left a home guard constable dead and several others injured.

SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami said the police acted on the chief minister’s order that led to the clash.

“The CM, who holds the home portfolio, was responsible for giving orders to the police to open fire,” he said here. He was releasing a report of an inquiry conducted by a SGPC-appointed panel.

The clash took place on November 23 at the gurdwara that was under the control of Baba Budha Dal for the past two years. On November 21, Nihang Maan Singh, who heads Shiromani Panth Akali Budha Dal, allegedly attempted to take control of the gurdwara.

Reading out contents of the probe report, Dhami said during an “unprovoked” clash, at least 1,000 bullets were fired and teargas released by the police had entered the gurdwara premises. He said no attempt was made to resolve the tussle between the Nihang factions.

Despite the “non-cooperative attitude” of the Kapurthala administration, the Dhami said the probe panel managed to record statements of witnesses, including the heads of Nihang organisations, and procured video clippings only to conclude that there was an “unnecessary intervention by the police”.

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