Despite the Centre’s objections and a brewing confrontation, Haryana government on Wednesday went ahead and constituted a 41-member, ad hoc Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) to manage, supervise and take over the assets of gurdwaras in the state.
No office-bearers were categorised immediately, though Jagdish Singh Jhinda and Didar Singh Nalwi, the two leaders at the forefront of the HSGMC campaign, were named right on top on the list of members. Nalwi said the ad hoc panel would elect an 11-member executive to run the HSGMC. A spokesman said the committee constituted under the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Act 2014 passed by the Haryana Vidhan Sabha would continue to hold charge until a new committee is elected as provided for in the law.
However, it remains to be seen how the committee would work as the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Amritsar, which to this date has been governing Sikh shrines in Haryana, has reportedly sent armed workers to gurdwara in Haryana.
Meanwhile, the Centre had asked Haryana to withdraw its Act as the union law ministry opined the Centre could give directions to state on the matter under the Constitution. There have been differing interpretations as to whether or not the state can enact such a law.
The members include Bhupinder Singh Assandh, Harpal Singh Machhonda, Baba Gurmeet Singh Tirlokey Wala, Avtar Singh Chakku, Swarn Singh Ratia, Joga Singh Yamunanagar, Bhupinder Singh Jauhar, Amrik Singh Janetpur, Jasbir Singh Khalsa, Nirvail Singh, Jagdev Singh Matdadu, Sartaj Singh, Manjeet Singh Datcher, Jasvinder Singh, Ajmer Singh Saini, Harpreet Singh Narula, Surjeet Singh Advocate, Surinder Singh Shah, Master Sampuran Singh, Jaskeer Singh Bhatti, Karnail Singh Nimnabad, Apar Singh Kurukshetra, Baldev Singh Balli, Hakam Singh, Gurcharan Singh Chimo, Harcharan Singh Rathore, Chandeep Singh Khurana, Jeet Singh Khalsa, Mohanjeet Singh, Jagjit Singh Matharu alias Kala Singh, Balwant Singh Phauji , Satpal Singh alias Kala, Amrinder Singh Arora, Manjit Singh, Prabjit Singh, Baba Baljit Singh Dadowal, Rana Bhatti, Jaswant Singh and Maninderpal Singh.
December 27, 2000: Campaign for Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC) started by Didar Singh Nalwi and late Harbans Singh Dachar.
2004: HSGPC (ad hoc) members win seven of Haryana’s 11 seats in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections.
2005: In its manifesto for the Haryana assembly elections, the Congress promises separate gurdwara panel.
August 22, 2005: Committee formed under then state assembly speaker HS Chattha to ascertain the mandate for the HSGPC.
2009: HSGPC (ad hoc) leaders Didar Singh Nalwi, Jagdish Singh Jhinda part ways.
2014: Jhinda, Nalwi reunite.
July 6, 2014: CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda announces to table a bill for the formation of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC).
July 11: Haryana assembly passes Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Bill, 2014.
July 14: Governor Jagannath Pahadia gives assent to the bill.
July 23: Haryana government forms 41-member HSGMC (ad hoc).