Sarnas appear before Akal Takht, panel set up on Phoolka charges

Saturday, August 7, 2010

AMRITSAR - The Sikh high priests Saturday formed a five-member committee to look into a controversy involving 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims’ lawyer H.S. Phoolka and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Paramjit Singh Sarna and his brother.

The committee was set up after Sarna and his brother appeared before the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, here Saturday and submitted a written reply before the Sikh high priests to support their allegations against Phoolka.

The Sarna brothers, Paramjit and Harvinder, were summoned by the Sikh high priests last month following a complaint by Phoolka, lawyer of 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims, saying that he was humiliated by them at a meeting in Delhi recently.

The Sarna brothers were asked to explain their stand on the controversy over Phoolka.

The lawyer later told reporters that the allegations against him by the Sarna brothers were a “deep-rooted conspiracy” by the Congress leaders to save those party leaders who were behind the killing of thousands of innocent Sikhs in New Delhi November 1984 in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards Oct 31, 1984.

Phoolka, who spearheaded a 26-year-long battle for justice to victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, had last month offered to quit as lawyer of riot victims’ families after Sarna leveled allegations against him for “having received crores of rupees for personal benefit”.

In a letter to the Akal Takht, Phoolka said: “It is not possible for me to continue with the cases.”

“I am conscious that my decision will have an adverse impact on the cases, but my hands are tied. An alternative arrangement be made and a decision be rendered at the earliest so that the community’s interest does not suffer,” he said.

Phoolka’s decision follows allegations made by Sarna and his brother Harvinder in the July 17 meeting of the committee that he had taken Rs.1.09 crore from the DSGMC.

But Phoolka, who has himself suffered at the hands of rioters who ruled Delhi’s streets for three days following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, denies the allegation.

Filed under: Religion

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