The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today described the suspension of school teacher Harpal Singh who had locked the doors of the Verka cremation ground to deny last rites to renowned Ragi and Padam Shri Bhai Nirmal Singh as to little too late and demanded he is sacked from government service and a case under Section 295-A be registered against him for hurting religious sentiments.In a letter to the chief minister, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said the immediate dismissal of Harpal Singh was required as he had contravened Rule 5 of the Government Employees (Conduct) Rules 1966 by taking part in political activities. He said due action should also be taken against Harpal for absenting himself from duty and obstructing government employees from performing their official duties. He also demanded that all pay accrued to Harpal after he joined politics be recovered from him.Mr Bikram Majithia also requested the chief minister to institute a separate inquiry to ascertain how Harpal Singh was appointed as an office bearer of the Congress party as well as go into instances when he misused his wife’s position as a Councillor. He said he hoped the chief minister would understand that Harpal had not only disrespected a renowned Ragi who was a Padam Shri awardee but was also a threat to peace and communal harmony. He said the school teacher’s actions had brought disrepute to the chief minister as well as Punjabis and that a clear-cut message should be sente out that no one was above the law.The SAD leader said it was unfortunate that the government had taken belated action against Harpal Singh only after there was an uproar by the Sikh community and various Ragi Jathas and Associations. He said it was this reason why the suspension was being seen as a diversionary tactic and demanded immediate exemplary action against the school teacher to assuage the hurt feelings of the entire community.
Mr Bikram Majithia pointed out to the chief minister that this was not the first time that Harpal Singh had broken the law. He said in fact Harpal was a habitual offender. “Even the Amritsar civil and police administration including the Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner of Police are helpless in the face of his goondaism. He is also known to masquerade as a Congress councillor in official meetings though it is his wife Parminder Kaur who is a Councillor”. He said Harpal had also threatened the Additional Deputy Commissioner for objecting to him attending a meeting of the Municipal Corporation.Mr Majithia said the meekness with which the Amritsar district administration dealt with Harpal Singh was in stark contrast to the prompt action taken by the Jalandhar police in registering a case against 60 persons for obstructing the creation of a Caronavirus patient in Harnamdasspura. “If the Amritsar administration had acted in a similar manner other such unfortunate cases of disrespecting the mortal remains of COVID-19 patients would not have taken place”.Giving further details about Harpal Singh, Mr Majithia said the former was posted at the Government Elementary School, Shahzade in Majithia block of Amritsar as a Head teacher but never attended to his duties in the school. He said numerous complaints had been submitted to the government in this regard. “Even as he is playing with the future of the children of the school and engaged in illegal acts like marking himself present in the attendance register even when he does not do any duty at the school, he is simultaneously engaging in political activities. I would also like to point out that Harpal Singh has been appointed Secretary of the Punjab Congress Pradesh Committee even though this is in violation of Service Rules”.