A controversy has erupted over the Punjab Prisons Department’s move to reopen an old jail in Bassi Pathana with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Taksali demanding a gurdwara in place of the jail as the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur, was imprisoned there for four months.
Bir Devinder Singh, senior vice-president of the SAD-Taksali, said CM Capt Amarinder Singh had promised to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in 2017 that a gurdwara would be built there. He said the move followed as he had furnished historical evidence proving the incarceration of the ninth Sikh Guru by the Mughals in the Bassi Pathana jail.
Singh said he was shocked to know through a report in The Tribune that the jail was reopened and a memorial would be built for the ninth Guru. “It is shocking as only a gurdwara is built in the memory of the Guru and not any memorial,” he said.
He said any move to reopen the jail would be thoroughly resisted by the Sikhs. “It is advisable for the Punjab Government to hand over the possession of the ancient jail to the SGPC for constructing Gurdwara Nauvi Patshahi with the help of the Sikhs.”