The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Saturday announced the formation of a four-member panel, which will visit Saharanpur to make an on-the-spot assessment of the situation there following clashes between members of two minority communities over possession of a disputed property adjacent to a gurdwara.
The committee will comprise SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, executive members Karnail Singh Panjoli and Rajinder Singh Mehta, and SGPC assistant secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhura Kona, who will be the coordinator.
SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar has told the panel to immediately leave for Saharanpur. The panel was formed soon after Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh discussed the violence that broke out in Saharanpur with Makkar.
Briefing the media, Makkar said the incident occurred at the Singh Sabha gurdwara near Saharanpur. He was briefed about the incident by Gurpreet Singh Banga, the general manager of the gurdwara, over phone.
Referring to his telephonic conversation, Makkar claimed that some miscreants, without any provocation, first attacked the management members of the shrine and then pelted the devotees, who were sitting inside the gurdwara, with stones. Thereafter, they set fire to the shops and other properties owned by Sikhs outside the shrine, he added, while pointing out that the miscreants used firearms and other weapons to attack the Sikhs.
Makkar said, "It seems these miscreants were bent on creating communal tension between the two communities that had been living peacefully."
Makkar also spoke to the Uttar Pradesh DGP and the Saharanpur police commissioner and urged them to ensure the safety of Sikhs and their properties, including the safety of gurdwaras.