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Akal Takht urges for restraint; working towards talks

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, August 02, 2014
First Published: 23:19 IST(2/8/2014) | Last Updated: 09:37 IST(3/8/2014)

Condemning the incident in Kurukshetra wherein members of the Haryana Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (HSGMC) marched towards a gurdwara, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said both groups - the HSGMC, and the SGPC - must maintain restraint till the Takht found an amicable solution to the problem. But he was firm that those excommunicated from the Panth - among them, HSGMC ad hoc president Jagdish Singh Jhinda and senior vice-president Didar Singh Nalwi - would not be involved in the exercise.

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Talking to reporters late Friday evening, the jathedar said, "Akal Takht is seriously working to find a solution to this issue, and efforts are on to arrange a meeting between members of HSGMC and SGPC. No tension must be created by any group as this can lead to serious violence among Sikhs. Both groups must also refrain from making any statements against each other." The Takht had already asked the HSGMC to maintain status quo on gurdwaras currently under the SGPC.

To a question, the jathedar said, "Those who are excommunicated by the Akal Takht will not be invited for the meeting, and this meeting will not take place at Akal Takht. Even Sikh scholars are being consulted to find a way out."

Reiterating that the SGPC should not be "bifurcated", he added, "The SGPC does not belong to (its president) Avtar Singh Makkar or chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. It belongs to the entire Sikh community, and thus should not be bifurcated."

Sukhbir, Sarna meet jathedar

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal met jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh during a visit to the Golden Temple on Friday. Sukhbir's wife and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal was present too. It is learnt that the deadlock between SGPC and HSGMC was discussed. Former chief of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Paramjit Singh Sarna, who has been backing the HSGMC, also met the jathedar.

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