Monday April 23, 2018
Home India Punjab SP say...

Punjab SP says his tip helped in prevention of major attack

0
//
54
Republish
Reprint

Gurdaspur: Punjab SP Salwinder Singh on Tuesday credited himself saying his timely information about the attack on the IAF base Pathankot prevented a major terror strike and made security agencies aware.

The SP had claimed he was abducted by five heavily armed men as he was returning after visiting a shrine on December 31 night. Senior police officers were allegedly wary of his claim on his abduction.

The SP said his sports utility vehicle was stopped and he and two others abducted around 11:30 PM on Thursday night (December 31). The attack at the Indian Air Force base took place around 3.30 AM on Saturday (January 2).

“My information was 1,000 percent true. There is no doubt about it. After I was dumped by my captors I freed myself and went to a nearby village Golpur Simbli. I told the villagers who I was. I then called up my superiors and gave them the information on my abduction.

“My information prevented a major (terror) incident. They could have done big damage had I not told about my abduction,” Salwinder told the media here.

Salwinder Singh, who is under transfer from the border district of Gurdaspur, said he had informed his senior officers about his abduction by suspected terrorists soon after he was dumped.

“As I told senior officers, they reached Pathankot. The police were alerted because of my information. I don’t know why the delay (in responding to the abduction incident) took place,” he said.

“Only I know what happened to me. I have got a new lease of life. The truth has come out. Only I and the God knows how I returned,” Salwinder said.

As for his alleged links with smugglers in the border belt, especially the odd time he was moving in the area, the SP said: “If anyone can prove my links with smugglers, I am willing to give up my life.”

The police officer said his abductors came back in his Mahindra XUV with a blue beacon, to look for him and his cook Madan Gopal after both were dumped near a drain in a forest area.

“I had gone to offer prayers at the shrine near Kathua. While returning, we were stopped near Kolia turn. We thought it was a police barricade. Four-five people barged into our vehicle and carjacked my SUV. They put off the lights. My friend Rajesh Verma was driving. We later came to know that they were terrorists,” Salwinder said.

“I could not resist as they were heavily armed. They threatened to shoot us. We were blindfolded, gagged and tied. We could not react. I did not take my gunmen since I was going to a shrine,” the police officer said.

“They had AK-47s (assault rifles) and carried heavy bags. They spoke in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi. They snatched my mobile phone and also took away Verma’s phone. They were talking to their commander,” he added.

Salwinder Singh said that when his gunman called on his mobile phone and asked for ‘SP saab’, they (terrorists) said ‘Salaam Vallekum’ and disconnected. They attacked Verma, slit his throat and left him for dead.

The police officer said they did not ask for directions as they had global positioning system and were talking about it.(IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

‘Concept of equality’ pervades world’s biggest community kitchen

The Golden Temple complex itself gets millions of visitors from across the country and other parts of the world annually

0
//
8
Bangla Sahib is one of the most famous place of worship of Sikhs in Delhi. Wikimedia Commons
Equality is important for the biggest community. Wikimedia Commons

If there is one big leveller for people, irrespective of their religion, caste, gender, social status or riches, it is the “langar”, or community kitchen, at the Golden Temple complex, where the holiest of Sikh shrines, the Harmandir Sahib, is located, in this city considered holy by Sikhs.

Referred to as the world’s largest community kitchen, the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee Langar Hall of the Golden Temple complex is unique in several aspects. On an average, it feeds over 100,000 people daily — from children to old people — from all religions, castes, regions, countries; and people from varied social, economic and political backgrounds.

“It is a 24×7 operation that carries on day and night all 365 days of the year. This has been going on for centuries, since the concept of langar was introduced by Guru Nanak Dev (the first Guru of the Sikh religion and its founder; born 1469) and propagated by other Gurus,” Wazir Singh, senior in-charge of the langar preparation, told IANS here.

Unlike other government organisations and institutions in India, there are no provisions for reservations based on caste or religion. Wikimedia commons
The Golden Temple complex provides food for many. Wikimedia Commons

At any given point of the day or night, the place is not only swarmed by devotees wanting to partake what is considered as blessed by service but by hundreds of volunteers who are ever-so-ready to be part of the voluntary cooking and serving process. The langar food is even sent thrice daily to the two Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC)-run hospitals in Amritsar, especially to a ward where treatment of mentally-ill patients and drug-addicts is being carried out. The SGPC is tasked with the management all Sikh shrines.

“We have over 500 volunteer employees. The sangat (community) also pitches in with great enthusiasm daily. People come from across Punjab on trucks and tractor-trolleys — even other states, different countries — to help in this massive exercise of making and serving food. Several local residents, including women, have been coming here for years. People take time out of their government and private jobs to serve here, irrespective of their religion or caste. We welcome everyone with love,” Wazir Singh, speaking in Punjabi, pointed out, even as he continued to issue instructions to staffers involved in cooking the langar.

The langar is all vegetarian — comprising mainly of dal (maa-chole ki dal), rice (slightly salted for taste), chapattis, achar (pickle) and a vegetable, along with something sweet (kheer or prasad). In the morning, the “chai langar” comprises of tea and rusk.

The devotees sit down on the matted floor inside the langar hall in rows. To manage the huge rush, the SGPC volunteers allow only a few hundred to enter the hall at one time. The whole operation is carried out in a meticulous manner as a daily routine.

Also Read: ‘Government chalked out 1984 anti-Sikh genocide’

“The whole exercise is quite enormous but it goes on, with the blessings of the almighty, seamlessly. The daily expense is around Rs 15 lakh. We use 100 quintals (100 kg) rice and up to 30 kg (each) of dal and vegetables daily. Over 100 LPG cylinders (domestic size) are used daily for the cooking along with hundreds of kilograms of firewood for the traditional cooking. Nearly 250 kg of ‘desi ghee’ (clarified butter) is used in the cooking. We have over three lakh steel plates. We can serve 10 lakh (one million) people in a day,” Gurpreet Singh, in-charge of the kitchen, told IANS. SGPC functionaries pointed out that 30,000-35,000 people from Amritsar and nearby areas are daily visitors to the shrine and partake langar thrice. Many of these are migrants from other states and poor people who cannot afford meals.

“Our doors are open for everyone without discrimination. We follow the concept of equality here,” said Amrit Pal Singh, a SGPC official at the Information Office. The chapattis, in the thousands, are made on eight chapatti-making machines and even by hand by women and men volunteers. The steel utensils (plates, glasses and spoons), used by devotees, also numbering in lakhs, are washed voluntarily by the devotees themselves or by volunteers.

“The shrine complex has such a spiritual attraction about it. The langar served here leaves you satisfied in many aspects. The whole experience touches your soul,” Ramesh Goyal, a devotee from Bathinda, said.

“I had always heard about this shrine. Today, what I experienced was heavenly. The langar service is unparalleled in any religion. They do it with so much devotion and humility despite such huge crowds. It is unimaginable,” Tariq Ahmed, who had come here with his family from Patna in Bihar, told IANS. Anup Singh, a young Sikh devotee from Amritsar, often accompanies his grandparents and parents to the shrine.

Sikh Community, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh
Children belonging to Sikh Community, Wikimedia Commons 

“I love to serve chapattis to the people having langar. It is a very satisfying and fulfilling experience,” he said. “The whole exercise is carried out selflessly. It is a big task but everything is carried out smoothly. We keep introducing changes depending on the needs of the devotees,” Roop Singh, Chief Secretary of the SGPC, told IANS.

The SGPC, known as the mini-parliament of Sikh religion, manages the Golden Temple complex and gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. It has an annual budget of over Rs 1,100 crore, mostly from donations at the gurdwaras.

The Golden Temple complex itself gets millions of visitors from across the country and other parts of the world annually. The strong Sikh diaspora in other countries like United States, Britain and Canada actively contributes to the shrine and visits it whenever they can. IANS