The Shiromani Akali Dal on Wednesday rejected all resolutions passed by radical Sikh groups that met on Tuesday in Amritsar. One of the resolutions included the appointment of Jagtar Singh Hawara, the assassin of former chief minister Beant Singh, as the jathedar or chief priest of the Akal Takht. A core committee meeting of SAD was held after which the party said it did not accept any of the resolutions passed by other groups on Tuesday. The party called the appointment of Hawara “illegal and illegitimate”, and said it had not been done through a Sikh mandate. “This action is the height of arrogance and haughtiness of these elements, which runs contrary to the message of humility and submission before the Sangat as taught to us by our great Guru Sahiban,” a party statement said.

The party also accused the Congress of orchestrating the meeting of more than 18,000 Sikhs on Tuesday, and said it was the outcome of a conspiracy created by the party. It added that the Congress was reverting to behaviour it adopted in the 1980s and 90s, and that the radical groups were part of the conspiracy to disturb the hard-earned peace of the state.

On Wednesday, a man made an attempt to attack the current jathedar, Gaini Gurbachan Singh, during Bandi Chor celebrations at Amritsar’s Golden Temple. Singh was reading a message on the occasion near the entrance to the temple, when Sikhs started raising slogans against him, in support of Hawara. Bandi Chor is a Sikh religious festival that coincides with Diwali, and celebrated the escape of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind from prison.