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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Makkar sees bid to oust SGPC from Hazoor Sahib

HT Correspondent HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar , July 31, 2014
First Published: 15:53 IST(31/7/2014) | Last Updated: 15:58 IST(31/7/2014)

After Haryana, it’s in Maharashtra now that a Congress government is accused of trying to ease out the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar stated here on Wednesday that the Maharashtra government was attempting to oust the SGPC from Takht Hazoor Sahib Board that manages the historic gurdwara in Nanded district of the southern western state.

Three members of the SGPC, including Makkar (as president) are on the 23-member board at Hazoor Sahib. “The SGPC is the sole elected body that represents the community,” said Makkar, accusing the Congress of interfering in the religious matters of Sikhs and plotting to amend the Takht Hazoor Sahib Board Act to remove all members of the SGPC from it.

He said the SGPC will continue with its membership of the board that maintains the shrine dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh. Asked to react, Hazoor Sahib board secretary Ranjit Singh said on telephone: “We have taken no such decision to oust anyone. We have only formed a committee to review the organisational structure and discussed proposals about a month ago.”

Local sources in the SGPC said that at that meeting, some members had proposed getting rid of constituents from the SGPC and Amritsar-based Chief Khalsa Dewan and replacing them with Sikhs from Nanded district, Hyderabad, and New Delhi to constitute 90% of the board.

“These were only preliminary suggestions, no concrete decision,” said Ranjit Singh. Makkar, however, has reasons to panic, as two months ago, there were similar attempts at Takht Patna Sahib. Makkar had sided with Giani Iqbal Singh whom the board had Patna Sahibhad sacked in the wake of a clash during a religious function in January.

The Patna Sahib management has written to Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, asking him not to allow Giani Iqbal Singh to attend the meeting of Singh Sahibs (Sikh high priests). Kept away for a couple of meetings, Giani Iqbal Singh was allowed to sit with the high priests last week when they decided to excommunicate Haryana Sikh leaders Jagdish Jhinda and Didar Singh Nalwi, and Haryana minister Harmohinder Singh Chattha.

AmritsarAfter Haryana, it’s in Maharashtra now that a Congress government is accused of trying to ease out the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar stated here on Wednesday that the Maharashtra government was attempting to oust the SGPC from Takht Hazoor Sahib Board that manages the historic gurdwara in Nanded district of the southern western state.

Three members of the SGPC, including Makkar (as president) are on the 23-member board at Hazoor Sahib. “The SGPC is the sole elected body that represents the community,” said Makkar, accusing the Congress of interfering in the religious matters of Sikhs and plotting to amend the Takht Hazoor Sahib Board Act to remove all members of the SGPC from it.

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