Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh declared on Monday that because “these are the times,” every Sikh should have a licensed contemporary weapon, drawing concerns from Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who said he should send a message of peace and togetherness.
Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, the Punjab Congress chairman, also took issue with the jathedar’s comments, calling it “mischievous.”
The Akal Takht is the Sikhs’ highest temporal seat.
“Even now, there is a need, especially for Sikh boys and girls, to follow Guru Hargobind Singh’s commands,” Singh said in a video message. They should learn ‘gatka baazi,’ a traditional martial technique, as well as sword fighting and shooting.
“And, given the times and the changing situation, every Sikh should strive to possess a licenced current weapon in a legal manner,” he said.
Chief Minister Mann reacted angrily to the jathedar’s words, telling him not to convey such a message.
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