The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the highest religious body of the Sikhs, has directed the management committee of the under-construction Gurdwara Sachkhand Angitha Sahib in Sangrur, 200 km east of Amritsar, to immediately stop work on the shrine.
The reason: Gurdwara Sachkhand Angitha Sahib is allegedly a replica of the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, in Amritsar.
“No one can be allowed to copy the unique design of the holy shrine, whose foundation was laid by Guru Arjan Dev (the fifth Sikh Guru),” said SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar.
Giani Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar of the Akal Takht, had, on Wednesday, asked the SGPC to convene a Sarbat Khalsa (meeting of all Sikh religious bodies) in Amritsar on June 20 on the issue.
The Gurdwara Sachkhand Angitha Sahib managing committee and the devotees involved in its construction have, however, denied that the structure is a replica of Harmandir Sahib.
“We’re only giving the dilapidated structure a facelift,” they said.
The managing committee of the Sangrur shrine has even offered to change its design. But Makkar said the gurdwara committee must immediately stop its operations, pull down the structure and tender an unconditional apology to the Sikh Panth.
The contentious gurudwara has been in the making for years. The Akal Takht had, in 1996, banned further construction. However, the gurdwara committee resumed construction work in the run-up to the recent Lok Sabha polls.
Earlier, a three member SGPC panel had inspected the shrine and called it a “blatant attempt to exactly copy the design of Harmandir Sahib”.