As 13 of the 14 Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) members from Bathinda and Mansa districts have resigned from their posts following the row over ownership of 161 acres of land at Bhai Rupa village near here, the matter has now reached chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The SGPC members who have resigned are Mohan Singh Bangi, Gurtej Singh Dhade, Major Singh Rampura, Jaspal Kaur Mehraj, Amrik Singh Kotshamir, Sukhchain Singh Dharampura, Joginder Kaur, Mithu Singh Kahnake, Gurpreet Singh Chibber, Surjit Singh Raipur, Sukhdev Singh Bahia, Jasvir Kaur and Buta Singh Gur thari. Another member Phuman Singh has not resigned as he is abroad.
SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar on Monday said the members had resigned as a mark of protest, and there arose no question of them quitting the organisation. He said a meeting of these members had been fixed with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in Bathinda on Tuesday to discuss the matter.
Even as the SGPC is claiming to have leased out the land, the resignations by its members are being seen as a pressure tactic. The members of Dhan Dhan Baba Bhai Roop Chandji Langar Sewa Society and villagers are claiming that land has not been leased out yet and they seem deter mined not to allow the committee members to enter the village.
TIMING OF POSSESSION BID QUESTIONABLE
Meanwhile, the attempt by the SGPC to lease out the disputed land soon after the parliamentary elections has raised eyebrows.
Apparently, keeping in view the political fallout of any such attempt during the polls, the SGPC did not go ahead in taking the possession that was bound to invite villagers’ wrath.
As soon as the polls con-cluded, the committee went the whole hog for taking the possession. The village f alls in Rampura Phul assembly segment represented by education minister Sikander Singh Maluka.
However, SGPC member Bangi said the timing of trying to lease out the land had nothing to do with the elections and May was the appropriate time for this.
Also, the Langar Sewa Society alleges that as the SGPC does not have a warrant for taking possession of the land, it cannot do so forcibly.
On the other hand, Bangi claimed that as they had reached a compromise with the opposite party (heirs of Bhai Arjun Singh), and paid Rs. 35 lakh compensation to the family, they need not take any possession warrant from the court and could lease out the land.
Langar Sewa Society president Rajwinder Singh said they would oppose any effort by the SGPC team to enter the village and a few people who had been leased out the land would not be allowed to cultivate it.
MUTATION OF LAND IN NAME OF SGPC, SAYS DC
Deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav said the mutation of the land was in the name of the SGPC, so there was no question of the administration not helping the committee in taking the possession.
Saying he didn’t see any reason behind the members’ resignation, he added that the administration could only depute police in case of an objection by villagers against the SGPC team’s entry to the place.