SGPC vs HSGMC: Hooda says will maintain law & order at all cost

  • PTI, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 07, 2014 21:31 IST

Hours after the Supreme Court directed rival groups SGPC and HSGMC to maintain status quo on the management control of gurdwaras in Haryana till further orders, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday said law and order will be maintained at all cost in the state.

Reacting to the apex court's order on the row over management of gurudwaras in Haryana, the Chief Minister said "we will follow it."

"We will maintain law and order at all cost and nobody will be permitted to take law in his hands," Hooda told reporters here after chairing a cabinet meeting.

Stating that HSGMC has already constituted a 41-member ad-hoc committee, he said "I am being told that the Supreme Court has also asked SGPC and HSGMC to open separate bank accounts in which all incomes of gurudwaras under their control will be deposited."

Though Hooda reiterated his appeal to maintain peace, he lambasted Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) President Avtar Singh Makkar for not caring for the affairs concerning Sikhs of Haryana.

"Badal and Makkar must understand that there is a need to protect the rights of Sikhs of Haryana too," he said.

Meanwhile, Makkar said efforts would be made at all levels to find an "amicable solution" on the issue of gurudwara committees of Punjab and Haryana.

Reacting to the Supreme Court order, he said "we will find some solution to resolve the issue." He said five gurudwaras in Haryana were already under the control of locals who have been elected by an 18-member panel of the SGPC.

However, the gurudwara at Ghula Cheeka in Kaithal, whose control was taken over by HSGMC yesterday, was earlier under the hands of Amritsar-based SGPC, he added.

Makkar said that there are 25 big Sikh shrines in Haryana of which earnings of 17 are below Rs 35 lakh per year while donations at eight gurudwaras goes over Rs 35 lakh annually.

Earlier in the day, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha said that the shrines under the control of the groups at the time of passing of this interim order at 02:30 PM today shall continue to be with them.

"We are directing to maintain status quo to subject gurudwaras as existing today at 02:30 PM in all respect," the bench said.

The apex court passed the order after Haryana government submitted that Haryana Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (HSGMC) has taken control of around 6-7 out of 52 gurudwaras in the state, a contention refuted by SGPC which submitted that its rival has taken over just one shrine in Kurukshetra district.

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