Punjab police have cancelled all state cops' leaves until 14 April following Khalistani preacher Amritpal Singh's call for a all-Sikhs meeting later this month.
Amritpal, who escaped arrest after his followers seized a police station for the detention of one of his aides, has appealed to the Akal Takht leaders to organize the "Sarbat Khalsa" meet in Bathinda, Punjab, on the day of Baisakhi.
According to sources, the report said, Director General of Police for Punjab, Gaurav Yadav, has stated that all leaves for gazetted and non-gazetted officers have been cancelled until 14 April. This includes previously sanctioned leaves, with instructions for heads to refrain from approving any new leave requests.
Last month, the separatist delivered two video messages appealing to the congregation. Additionally, he requested the jathedars to conduct a religious procession from Akal Takht in Amritsar to Damdama Sahib in Bathinda before the gathering on Baisakhi.
"Only the Akal Takht chief can decide whether to call such a congregation after consulting with Sikh scholars and intellectuals," top gurdwara body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) said following Amritpal's request.
"It is the personal wish of Amritpal Singh. It is the sole prerogative of the Akal Takht jathedar to call or not call a 'Sarbat Khalsa'. The jathedar would see what needs to be done under the prevailing circumstances," SGPC general secretary Gurcharan Singh Grewal told PTI.
The 'Sarbat Khalsa' congregations were called only on two other occasions - in 2015 and 1986.
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