In a strategy to garner more support for the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC), the Sikh leaders of Haryana have announced to hold a Panthic Ikath in Karnal on July 28.
The date has been strategically fixed a day after the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has proposed to convene a Sikh convention at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, to oppose bifurcation of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Key HSGMC supporter and convener of the Sikh congregation to be held here, Jagdish Singh Jhinda, told Hindustan Times on Wednesday that delegates from Pakistan Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and various Indian states, who support independent panels to manage gurdwaras, were expected to attend the meeting.
He said that the Karnal summit would highlight reasons on why the community wanted to part ways with the SGPC and that the development would not affect Sikh maryada.
"We have immediately suspended our statewide shanti march to protest against the heavy presence of SAD leaders and their armed supporters at all historic gurdwaras, to make arrangements for the Panthic Ikath. The decisions taken at Amritsar's convention would be given a befitted reply with sound reasoning by a gathering of Sikh scholars, prominent Sikh leaders and ex-SGPC jathedars in Karnal," said Jhinda.
He accused Punjab chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal and his son deputy chief minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal of interfering in the religious and administrative matters of Haryana gurdwaras.
"It is important to note that it is not the SGPC, but the SAD, the ruling party of Punjab, is convening the proposed convention at Amritsar. It again reaffirms that Badals and his cronies in the SGPC are opposing the formation of HSGMC only for 'golak' (remittances) and votes," he said.
He said that HSGMC was not a panic issue but a constitutional right of Sikhs of Haryana, which had been given the shape of an Act.
"Instead of respecting sentiments of Sikhs of Haryana, the Badals are issuing misleading statements about the judicious Act passed by the Haryana assembly. SGPC and Akalis should immediately withdraw their armed men from gurdwaras and hand over sewa of shrines to the HSGMC," he said.
Jhinda reiterated that the Sikhs of Haryana would not resort to force to get the possession of gurdwaras and now it was the duty of the state government to get it evicted from illegal possession of Akalis.