Chandigarh, April 3, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said the denial of cremation to the mortal remains of renowned Kirtaniya Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa at Verka yesterday had caused deep resentment in the minds of the Sikh community and the Punjab government must take immediate steps to assuage the sentiments of the community.
In a statement here, the SAD President said it was condemnable that no action had been taken against the Congress councilor and others who had locked the cremation ground at Verka yesterday nor State officials who had failed in their responsibility to ensure the last rites of the Hazoori Ragi were conducted in a befitting manner. “Swift action should be taken by the State government to send out a clear message that it does not condone this insult to the Sikh community”.
Mr Sukhbir Badal said the Punjab government should have taken appropriate steps to ensure the mortal remains of the great ‘ragi’ were not disrespected. “In fact, the government should have consigned the mortal remains of Bhai Khalsa to flames with full State honours keeping in view the fact that he was the first Kirtaniya to be awarded the Padam Shri in the country”.
The SAD President said it was also unfortunate that the Amritsar district administration did not take up the offer of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to assist in holding the last rites of the renowned Kirtaniya and performed the last rites in a rough shod manner. “This is highly condemnable”.
Mr Sukhbir Badal asked the State government to apologize to Bhai Khalsa’s family for the treatment meted out to his mortal remains. He said the State government should also issue strict directives to ensure no one faced discrimination following death at the hands of COVID- 19.
He said guidelines should be issued to ensure relatives were facilitated to take part in the cremation as in such cases the immediate next of kin were placed under quarantine. He said the district administration should be held accountable in case of any violation of these directives.