SGPC plans nationwide signature campaign for release of Sikh prisoners

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in its today’s executive committee (EC) meeting presided over by SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami has decided that the signature campaign to be launched from December 1, 2022, demanding release of Bandi Singhs (Sikh political prisoners) will be held nationwide.

It was the first meeting of the SGPC EC which was newly elected on November 9, in which many important decisions were taken.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami said that the active campaign under the struggle for the release of Sikh prisoners will be taken forward from December 1, 2022. He said a signature campaign will be launched, under which, proformas will be filled besides spreading awareness among the Sangat about the cases of Sikh prisoners and the punishments served.

“In order to make this movement nationwide, an approach will be made for filling proformas to different states through the SGPC’s Sikh missions and Gurdwara management committees besides Punjab”, said Dhami. He said that the center of this campaign will be the SGPC office in Amritsar, while sub-centres will be established in every district of Punjab and Sikh missions outside Punjab.

“Especially in Punjab, proformas will be filled by setting up camps at Gurdwaras, educational institutions, railway stations, bus stands, cities, towns and important intersections”, said SGPC President.

He said that after completing the work of filling the proformas, a one-day protest will be held by all SGPC members at Chandigarh, after which, the filled proformas will be handed over to the Governor of Punjab. He also said that besides filling the proformas, its entire written and digital record will also be maintained simultaneously.

About another EC decisions, he said that following the direction from Sri Akal Takht Sahib, the SGPC had appealed to Government of India to observe the martyrdom day of Sahibzadas as ‘Sahibzade Shahadat Diwas’ instead of ‘Veer Bal Diwas’.

“The Union and state governments have been asked once again to implement the decision as recommended by Sri Akal Takht Sahib. Martyrdom day of Sahibzadas is an important page of Sikh history, which should be observed as per the spirit of Sikh heritage and Gurmat (teachings of Sikh Gurus). Therefore, the Government of India should change and announce the name of this day as ‘Sahibzade Shahadat Diwas’ as suggested by the committee formed by Sri Akal Takht Sahib. I urge the state governments to organize the event in accordance with the same spirit, and not as Veer Bal Diwas”, said Dhami.

The SGPC President said that rules have also been framed for the proper use of Siropao (robe of honour) in the future. Now it has been decided to honour the dignitaries only with books instead of Siropao, shawl and mementoes in every educational institution. Even at Gurdwaras, orders have been issued to ensure use of Siropao as per the Gurmat. “Only those who have contributed to Panthic (community’s) causes will be honoured with Siropao, while books will be given to other respected personalities”, he said.

SGPC President also informed that the already running YouTube channel of SGPC will be made functional in a better way to ensure communication of various SGPC functions to the Sangat on a regular basis.