SAD activists converge at Ambala gurdwaras

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ambala
  • Updated: Jul 19, 2014 20:57 IST

A large number of Sikh leaders owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) have converged at historical Manji Sahib and Panjokhra Sahib gurdwaras to resist any move of the Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (ad hoc) members to take over the shrines.

Following the passage of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Bill, 2014, tension around the two gurdwaras was building up as SGPC has deputed its task force members to safeguard the gurdwaras. A sizeable number of local Sikhs has also been opposing the separate committee.

Former Punjab minister and SAD leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who has been camping at Manji Sahib Gurdwara, said the law has been passed in haste in violation of the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, and under no circumstances they would allow the forcible takeover of Sikh shrines being run by the SGPC.

He added that the assembly would remain peaceful and Sikhs have come here voluntarily to thwart any unlawful attempt by the vested interests to take over the shrine.

Sources said SAD MP Prem Singh Chandumajra also reached Manji Sahib Gurdwara on Saturday and held a meeting with the Sikh leaders to review the situation and gave necessary instructions to the volunteers.

Later, he said the Sikh shrines in the state would not be handed over to the HSGPC and they were monitoring the situation and were ready for any eventuality.

Chandumajra said the Haryana government has not only violated the statute but has also betrayed the Sikh community. The hurried manner in which the governor has appended his signatures was quite intriguing, he said.

Owning the moral responsibility the governor should have resigned after the Centre's communication questioned his assent, he said, adding that the state government was challenging the authority of the union government.

The SAD leader said the state government would be held responsible if the situation goes out of control. Sources in the administration said a close eye was being kept on the situation and law and order situation in the district would not allowed to be disturbed. Sources added that the SGPC controls 27 gurdwaras in the state while local managements look after other gurdwaras.

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