​Akal Takht Jathedar’s Call to Sikh Youth to Keep Licensed Weapons Triggers Row in Punjab

Akal Takht Jathedar’s call for young Sikhs to arm themselves with licensed weapons for protection has sparked controversy, with Congress claiming it demonstrates law and order in Punjab and questioning Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, in his message on the occasion of the Gurgadi Divas (Coronation Day) of the Guru Hargobind Sahib, invited young Sikhs to apply for a license for modern weapons of self-defense.

He said in his message to the youth that this is the need of the hour. He urged the young people, saying that even the teacher used weapons for self-defense.

The statement did not go well with all parties.

Keeping Peace: CM

Emphasizing his government’s commitment to maintaining peace, Adami Public Party Leader and Chief Minister of Punjab Bhagwant Man Gathidar Sri Akal Takht urged Sahib Gianni Harpreet Singh to spread the message of peace, harmony and brotherhood in society rather than asking Sikhs to keep modern licensed weapons. .

In a statement, the Cabinet strongly objected to the statement and said that we live in a civilized society where the state is governed by the rule of law. Mann said that guns have no place in a homogeneous and harmonious society.

The prime minister said that Gathidir Aqel Takht should focus on spreading Qurbani’s message that envisions ‘Sharbat da Bahla’ (the well-being of one and all). He said Gathder should focus on spreading this divine message for the welfare of everyone in every home.

The Prime Minister said that an hour was needed to ensure that the hard-earned peace of the state was preserved at all costs. Already hostile forces are trying to destabilize the peace of the country, he said, adding that weapons in every home can pose a serious challenge.

Reaffirming his government’s firm commitment to ensuring friendship and harmony throughout the state, Mann said the state government is obligated to maintain law and order at all costs.

Opposition responses

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Grand Congress leader Sukhinder Singh Randhawa said the reason for issuing such a letter should be clarified. “What is so alarming about the state of law and order in Punjab that young people are required to obtain a license to purchase weapons,” Randhawa asked.

He said that according to Sikhism, keeping kirpan for self-defense was mandatory as per the guru’s teachings, but why licensed weapons.

BJP leader Harjit Grewal targeted Gyani, saying that such a statement was made to ensure the safety of his seat and to maintain the affinity of Akalis. He said that there was no provocation to make such a statement and that his message could be used to destabilize the peace in the state.

However, Shiromani leader Akali Dal Daljit Singh Cheema defended the statement. He said that keeping weapons (Kriban) is part of religion, and due to violence, some people keep personal security for their own safety, so there is no harm if people keep licensed weapons. However, Cheema said there should be a background check for those who were getting licenses.

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