SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar has appealed to the Uttarakhand government to take immediate steps to rebuild Gurdwara Gyan Godri on the banks of the Ganga at Har ki Pauri in Haridwar.
The shrine, associated with Guru Nanak, was demolished in 1979 along with several other structures along the banks of the Ganga when a massive centrally funded campaign for cleansing the sacred river was undertaken.
Makkar made this appeal during a meeting with Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna at Dehradun on Monday. Makkar led an SGPC delegation comprising senior vice-president Raghujit Singh Virk, general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, executive member Rajinder Singh and two senior SGPC officials to the Uttarakhand capital.
A release issued from the SGPC headquarters here stated that the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and the CM listened to the views of the delegation. Later, Bahuguna assured Makkar that a decision would be taken very soon on rebuilding the shrine in view of its historical importance and the fact that it reminded pilgrims coming to Haridwar of Guru Nanak's visit to the place.
The SGPC chief told the CM that while the government had rebuilt several demolished structures along the river at Haridwar, the gurdwara was yet to be constructed.
The Uttarakhand government had prevented a Sikh jatha from entering the state last month. The jatha was on its way to Haridwar for participating in the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak on November 28 at the spot where Gurdwara Gyan Godri once stood. Makkar and several other Sikh groups had condemned the state government's action.
Makkar had then made it clear that the Sikh community was determined to reconstruct the historical gurdwara. He had also indicated that he would be meeting the Uttarakhand CM soon to discuss the issue.