All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AITF) chairman MS Bitta on Friday said the proposed move to form an independent panel to manage gurdwaras of Haryana may fan the Sikh fundamentalism. At a press conference, Bitta said the announcement to form the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC) just before the assembly polls reflects the electoral designs and the Congress should have refrained from meddling in the religious affairs of Sikhs.
"There is a valid point that donations collected from Haryana gurdwaras are not spent here but in Punjab and the issue must have been resolved by the Sikh bodies and not the state government. But by accepting such voices, the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government has given ammunition to the Sikh hardliners being controlled by Pakistani agencies," alleged Bitta.
Interacting with the media, Bitta said he was not supporting the Akalis or any other political front of Punjab. "While the Congress is still fighting to shed a blot that it gave birth to Sikh fundamentalism, ordered Operation Bluestar in the Golden Temple complex and finally being held responsible for the anti-Sikh riots in 1984, the party again meddled in the religious affairs by paving way for HSGPC," he said while urging the Haryana government to give another thought to the matter.
He also blamed HSGPC leaders Jagdish Singh Jhinda and Didar Singh Nalwi for becoming puppets in the hands of politicians for their personal petty gains.
"At the Sikh convention in Kaithal on June 6, the politicians, including Hooda, did not cover their heads while receiving 'siropas' (robe of religious honour). Sikh leaders who convened the meeting are to be blamed for not adhering to the Sikh maryada," he said.