//Secret parleys between Sikh body, radicals to fore

Secret parleys between Sikh body, radicals to fore

Varinder Walia, Tribune News Service, Amritsar, February 17

The revelations made by Mr Rulda Singh, president of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, a mouthpiece of the RSS, about the return of more than 400 “black-listed” Sikhs from different parts of the world and securing release of top militants from Punjab’s jails have created ripples in the Sikh Panth.

Earlier, Mr Rulda Singh shot into limelight for arranging “secret parleys” between RSS chief K. Sudershan and a section of the Sant Samaj, including Damdami Taksal, coinciding with tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa Panth during the Vajpayee government.

Talking to TNS today, Mr Rulda Singh said the then Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Union Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani held talks with “innocent” black-listed Sikhs in 2003 in New York and tried to resolve their problems by trimming the black-list.

However, Mr Rulda Singh refused to comment that he, along with Mr Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, went to get Mr Daljit Singh Bittu, president of the Shiromani Khalsa Dal, released from jail.

However, Mr Jaspal Singh Manjpur, spokesman for the Dal, alleged that Mr Rulda Singh was spreading “disinformation” to create confusion among the Sikh Panth.

He claimed that neither Mr Modi nor Mr Rulda Singh were present at the time of the release of Mr Bittu. He said the pictures and video footage taken at the time of the release of Mr Bittu were a proof that Mr Rulda Singh was deliberately “defaming” the militants.

He said Mr Bittu was released on the court orders and hence the RSS had nothing to do with his release. The supporters of Mr Bittu said the “so-called revelations” made by Rulda Singh were doubtful since he (Mr Bittu) was released during the Congress regime whereas Mr Rulda Singh had access to the BJP-led NDA government only.

Mr Manmohan Singh, a UK-based Dal Khalsa leader, refuted the allegations made by Mr Rulda Singh that he (Mr Manmohan Singh) started supporting him during his visit to London. He alleged that Mr Rulda Singh was playing “double game” with a view to tarnishing the image of those who had “sacrificed” for the sake of the Sikh Panth.

Bhai Mohkam Singh, a spokesman for Damdami Taksal, alleged that the “audio recording” being circulated in Sikh circles on the release of Devinder Singh Bhullar were doctored.

Mr Rulda Singh, however, said the initiative taken by the RSS or the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat to scrap the black list was aimed at cementing the Hindu-Sikh relations. He said rumours were being spread by those (militants) who could not take the benefit of the initiative taken by his outfit.

Mr Rulda Singh said he had also held discussions with the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, where Mr Sukhpreet Singh Udoke had met him. He said Mr Udoke might have recorded his “revelations” without telling him. He, however, said he could comment only after cross-checking the authenticity of the recordings.