Over 21 Dalit groups from across the nation have petitioned the National Commission for Scheduled Castes for a detailed investigation into the murder of a Dalit Sikh man Lakhbir Singh by Nihang Sikhs near the Singhu border. To avoid embarrassment, Sikh religious groups have attempted to downplay the Dalit atrocity narrative in the case, stating that Nihangs have a significant proportion of Dalits among them and that it is not a caste problem.
The two highest Sikh organisations, Akal Takht and Shiromani Gurudwara, have claimed that the entire episode was a ‘plot’ and a part of conspiracy.
The organisations have requested a timeline for an inquiry into the situation. Furthermore, they have demanded that all those engaged in the death of the Dalit Sikh at the site of the farmer protests be punished.
NCSC Chairperson Vijay Sampla criticised desecration or disrespect of the scripture, saying it is a serious offence among Sikhs, but “no one has the right to take the law into his own hands.” “We’ve already given a warning to DGP Haryana and the chief secretary to take serious actions on it, and we’ve requested a return report through fax,” he added.
Giani Harpreet Singh, the jathedar of akal takht blamed the situation that led to Lakhbir Singh’s death on the police and law enforcement authorities. Over 400 cases of sacrilege or disrespect of Sikh religious texts, he claims, have occurred in the last five to six years, and the legal system has failed to bring the perpetrators to justice in even one case. “There was no scenario in which the judicial system could have given the guilty worthy punishment that would have brought some comfort to the injured sentiments of Sikhs,” he continued.
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Top religious groups among Sikhs have been hesitant to officially criticise the incident, but have condemned the suspected sacrilege.
Balvinder Singh, another Sikh tenet scholar and specialist, said the Nihangs were formerly regarded as “daredevils” who commanded respect in Punjab. “They were recognised for their unwavering devotion in the gurus and were regarded as fighters since their looks served as a reminder of how great the Sikh kingdom once was.” But the societal environment has changed.”