The Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), Vijay Sampla, on Monday asked the acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh, to ensure that the last rites of Lakhbir Singh, who was lynched on the Singhu border, are performed as per Sikh ‘rehat maryada’ (tradition).
In a letter to the Jathedar, Sampla said, “You must be aware of the brutal murder of Lakhbir Singh, a Scheduled Caste Sikh from Punjab, at the farmers’ protest site at Singhu near the Delhi-Haryana border.
“You must have also got the information that some people, especially the members of the Satkar committee, objected to the victim’s cremation as per Sikh rituals, citing sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
“In the viral videos, the culprits and other people can be heard saying that Lakhbir Singh had disrespected the Sikh holy book. But in reality, no video has surfaced on social media or news organisations which can prove that Lakhbir Singh committed sacrilege.”
The NCSC chief said that as per the statements given by the farmers’ organisations during press conferences, the victim was found with the Sarbloh Granth, and not the Guru Granth Sahib.
“In one of the viral videos, Lakhbir Singh was seen lying on the ground with his amputated hand, whereas in another video, he was seen hung upside down near the main stage of the protesting farmers’ organisation, Samyukt Kisan Morcha.
“A third viral video shows that he was tied to a road barricade, probably after his death,” Sampla said, adding, “We firmly believe that Lakhbir Singh should not be termed as guilty until the police investigation proves the same.”
Sampla also mentioned that in Punjab, especially in the border districts, a large number of SC Sikhs have been targeted and converted by missionaries and institutions, and the process is still on.
Incidents like the murder of Lakhbir Singh and objection during his cremation will further speed up the conversion drive, he said.
While requesting the Jathedar, Sampla further said that Lakhbir Singh’s ‘bhog’ rituals should be performed as per Sikh tradition as this will increase the respect for Sikhism in the SC society.