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Akal Takht summons head of US gurdwara committee

HT Correspondent  Amritsar, March 25, 2013
First Published: 21:11 IST(25/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:12 IST(25/3/2013)

The Akal Takht has taken a serious view of the role of the management committee of a gurdwara based in the US city of Rochester in getting a ban imposed by a judicial court on wearing of 'kirpan' in the premises of the shrine.

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The Sikh high priests have issued an order directing Santokh Singh Badesha, head of the management committee of the Rochester-based gurdwara, to appear before the Akal Takht in person within a month.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the high priests here on Monday. The meeting was presided over by Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh.

Announcing the decision before the media, Giani Gurbachan said that in case Badesha fails to appear in the stipulated time frame to explain his role and that of the management committee in this court order, the Akal Takht will have no other option but to proceed against him "as per Sikh traditions".

This implies that if Badesha fails to appear, he could be excommunicated from the Sikh community.

As per reports reaching the clergy, a court in Rochester had issued a ban on the wearing and carrying of 'kirpans' by devotees inside the gurdwara there. The order was issued after some persons approached the court to plead that carrying of 'kirpans' inside the shrine could lead to a law and order problem. The 'kirpan' is one of the five symbols that baptised Sikhs must wear at all times.

Giani Gurbachan said Badesha had been directed to bring with him the orders of the court as well as all other records pertaining to the case. He has also been asked to bring the statements and affidavits that may have been submitted in the court by him or any other person in the management committee of the shrine.

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