5 US Sikhs excommunicated for tampering with baptism code

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Jun 05, 2016 00:00 IST
Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh issuing a hukamnama (religious edict) to excommunicate five US Sikhs, at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Saturday. (Gurpreet singh/HT)

The Akal Takht on Saturday excommunicated five members of a US gurdwara committee over alleged tempering with ‘amrit sanchar maryada’ (baptism code).

Sikh outcasts Kuldeep Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Amarjit Singh, Rajinder Singh, and Amarjit Singh “Narula” are from a Virginia shrine. Issuing the religious edict after a meeting in the secretariat of the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of the faith) on Saturday here, the five Sikh high priests recalled that Guru Gobind Singh had laid down the sacred code when founding the order of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib. “These members of a gurdwara committee raised questions on this code on April 16 and hurt the Sikh sentiments,” the ‘hukamnama’ (edict) reads.

The “distorters” were summoned to the Akal Takht on June 4 but they didn’t appear before it. Another accused, Surinder Singh, had apologised before the ‘sangat’ (devotees at a gurdwara) in Washington DC, so, the Akal Takht had allowed him to appear by June 30. It didn’t accept the emailed argument from accused Rajinder Singh that he had only stood as ‘granthi’ (priest) and not among the ‘Panj Pyaras’ who had tampered with the code.

Terming the excommunicated members as “enemies of the faith”, the Sikh clergy barred the community from keeping any relation with them.

The meeting presided over by Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh had jathedars Iqbal Singh (Patna Sahib), Mal Singh (Keshgarh Sahib), Gurmukh Singh (Damdama Sahib), and additional jathedar Jotinder Singh (Hazur Sahib) in attendance.

Jathedar silent on ‘siropa’ issue

Asked about Friday’s incident in which a priest had denied ‘siropa’ (saffron scarf of honour) to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple, holiest of Sikh shrines, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh replied: “I have nothing to say.”

Also read: Haryana exam: Baptised Sikh told to remove kirpan, Akal Takht raises issue

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