A day after Punjab police launching a massive operation to arrest Khalistani leader Amritpal Singh, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh asked the government to avoid creating an atmosphere of terror in the state. Akal Takht is the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, and Jathedar is its appointed head.
"Punjab has already suffered enough, and now it's time to move towards a better future," he said in a statement.
He said that Punjab has received deep wounds in the past and no government has taken steps to heal them.
He said there is great discontent in the Sikh youth due to the discrimination by the governments in the past. Some people are also brainwashing youngsters and using them for their own political gains, he said.
"Learning from the mistakes, the long-standing religious, political and economic issues of the Sikhs should be simplified and the feeling of alienation among the Sikhs should be removed," Harpreet Singh said.
The leader added that the discrimination from time to time has played a role in creating a sense of alienation among the Sikhs who made the most sacrifices for India's freedom. He urged the current governments to learn from the mistakes made by their predecessors.
The religious leader's statement comes at a time when the Centre and state are working together to arrest separatist leader Amritpal Singh.
The Khalistani leader is still on the run, but cops have already arrested 78 of his supporters. Four of his aides, members of his organisation 'Waris Punjab De', have been brought to Assam's Dibrugarh.
Authorities have stepped up security at several places and suspended internet and SMS services across the state after his aides shared some videos on social media claiming that policemen were chasing them.
The crackdown comes a month after Amritpal Singh and his supporters broke into a police station with swords and guns for the release of one of his aides. Six police officials were injured in the clash.