Satkar committee demands printing firm owner’s arrest : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

Amritsar 23 February

A day after the role of the printing house in the city, which publishes ‘gutkas’, ‘pothis’ and other Sikh religious literature, came under the scanner for alleged offensiveness detected while printing holy scriptures, Satkar Committee members staged protest.

Panel members demanded the arrest and deportation of the printer’s owner while protesting outside the printing house.

Sources said that tension was building in the area after an accidental shot was fired into the air from a licensed weapon belonging to a protester.

The SGPC also filed a complaint to the police. A case was opened under Sections 292 & 295-A IPC against Chatar Singh and Jeewan Singh. According to the complaint, workers of the firm were accused of smoking cigarettes, using tobacco and having drinks. Pages from religious books were also allegedly dropped on the floor.

ASI Sukhwinder, the investigating officer, stated that a DVR, some religious books, and a DVR were found. However, no tobacco or intoxicants were taken from the premises.

Nevertheless, irregularities in work culture at the press premises were discovered by surprise visits by SGPC and satkar committee teams, accompanied by police yesterday. Accordingly, printing was stopped at their request and the press was locked.

Partap Singh (SGPC secretary) filed a police complaint claiming that gross irregularities were being perpetrated by journalists who appeared to have been migrants from other countries.

“Migrant workers print Sikh holy scriptures. It is very distressing to learn that the place where Sikh holy Scriptures are published is filthy. Wrappers of ‘beedi’ are scattered at the place. I have been told that empty liquor bottles have also been found at the spot,” he said.

Satkar committee member Balbir Singh Muchchal said the same firm was banned by the Akal Takht and in 1998 a ‘hukamnama’ was issued against its owners for violating the Sikh ‘rehat maryada’. He said the firm was publishing ‘saroops’ illegally.