The three-member panel probing into some Sikh politicians seeking electoral support from Dera Sacha Sauda in the run-up to the assembly elections in violation of an Akal Takht edict has been given time till March 7 to complete the inquiry. The decision to extend the deadline was taken in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) executive committee meeting chaired by its president Kirpal Singh Badungar here on Friday.
Members of the panel, SGPC senior vice-president Baldev Singh Kiampuri, general secretary Amarjit Singh Chawla and executive member Gurcharan Singh Grewal, were to submit the report by February 13. Formed on February 6, the panel has identified 30 Sikh leaders who attended the dera meeting and sought more time from the SGPC to complete the probe.
“Going by the seriousness and magnitude of the matter and finding their request as genuine, we decided to put the matter before the executive committee,” said Badungar.
In November 2007, the Akal Takht had passed an ‘hukamnama’ (edict), asking the Sikh community to break all ties with Sirsa Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh after he allegedly appeared in an attire similar to that of Guru Gobind Singh. Badungar said the penal will review all ties between Sikh leaders and dera from 2007 onwards when the Akal Takht issued the edict.
On the SGPC budget, Badungar said many proposals were still under consideration.
‘SAD(A) concern to be considered’
Meanwhile, some members of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) reached the meeting hall and showed resentment over penal prolonging the matter unnecessarily. “We understand the concern of SAD(A) leaders. They have given us a memorandum. We want the probe to be unbiased and detailed that is why we have decided to extend the date,” said Badungar.
‘No connection with Delhi Gurdwara polls’
Badungar trashed the insinuations that the panel has been given more time due to February 26 Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections. “Akal Takht edict is not just applicable to a particular party, but to all the Sikhs. So, it has nothing to do with Delhi gurdwara elections,” he said.