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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

New Zealand Sikhs question Akal Takht jathedar's action

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times   Amritsar, March 24, 2014
First Published: 22:16 IST(24/3/2014) | Last Updated: 22:17 IST(24/3/2014)

The New Zealand Sikh Society has questioned the decision of the Sikh clergy to declare two of its members 'tankhaiya' (guilty of religious misconduct) and outrightly rejected the move.

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In a statement mailed from New Zealand to HT on Monday, Ravinder Singh, the general secretary of the society and Iqbal Singh, its finance secretary, have claimed that the order issued by the clergy at its meeting on March 20 was not in accordance with the 'maryada' (tradition and tenets) of the Akal Takht.

In this context, they pointed to the presence of Giani Iqbal Singh in the meeting of the clergy which was chaired by Akal Takht jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh. They pointed out that Giani Iqbal Singh had no right to attend the meeting as he had been removed as the jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib by its management committee for violating Sikh 'maryada'. Hence, the order passed against them was against Sikh principles.

Both Ravinder Singh and Iqbal Singh had been declared 'tankhiya' after they failed to appear before the Akal Takht as directed by Giani Gurbachan Singh in February. They were summoned after certain Sikhs of New Zealand claimed before the jathedar that they were debarred by the two members from entering the premises of a gurdwara in Hamilton controlled by the society. 

In the statement, the two members threatened that if the Jathedar did not withdraw his decision, then the New Zealand Sikh Society will boycott him whenever he comes to the country.

They further claimed that those Sikhs on whose complaint the Jathedar had acted against them were debarred from entering the Hamilton gurdwara as they had created a ruckus during Baisakhi last year inside the shrine.

The two went on to allege that one among the complainants was a wealthy Sikh who had sponsored the visit of the jathedar to New Zealand last year. They regretted that the jathedar had acted against them despite being informed about the Baisakhi day incident by the society.

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