Amritsar, July 22
A religious organisation, Damdami Taksal, organised a prayer meeting for the eight missing pilgrims to Hemkund Sahib, who are feared dead. Residents of the area and leaders from various Sikh political outfits prayed for the souls of the victims and criticised the government for not doing enough for the families of missing/dead persons. Speakers at the meeting demanded that the Centre and the state government should announce monetary help for the kin of the missing/dead persons and provide a government job to one family member of each of the victims.
Eight residents of Mehta had gone missing after paying homage at Hemkund Sahib earlier this month. The missing persons include Kirpal Singh, Jasbir Singh, Kulbir Singh, Harpal Singh, Varinder Singh, Mehnga Singh and two NRIs, Paramjit Singh and Harkawal Singh.
The Taksal’s president Harnam Singh Khalsa said, “The efforts to find the missing persons were initiated only after their families had approached the authorities. The entire episode has revealed that the Sikhs are being considered second-grade citizens.” He said the Taksal would support the children of the victims’ families till they complete their education up to the higher secondary level.
Speaking on the occasion, former Cabinet Minister Bikram Singh Majitha said the state government should announce monetary help for all the affected families, as they had lost their bread earners. He said he would also approach the SGPC and the DGMC to secure support for the families.
Representing SGPC president Kirpal Singh Bandungar at the prayer meeting, Rajinder Singh Mehta said the SGPC had decided to give a job to the daughter of one of the victims, Kirpal Singh.