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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

Future of Sikh museum uncertain

Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times  SAS Nagar, April 08, 2013
First Published: 23:10 IST(8/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:15 IST(8/4/2013)

Propagating Sikh history through sculptures for the past 12 years, the Sikh museum here now faces threat of demolition. With no help pouring from any quarter, uncertainty looms large on the fate of the museum, which is popularly known as Sikh Ajaib Ghar.

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Formerly a scooter mechanic, Parwinder Singh, who hails from Buterla village in Sector 41, Chandigarh, had been designing sculptures of Sikh martyrs made of fiberglass to educate people about Sikh history.

Setup in 2005 on Landran road, the museum was shifted to Balongi in 2009.

Parwinder, who also founded the Sikh Heritage and Cultural Society in 2003, had set up the museum over 2 kanal, and is now struggling to safeguard the museum from being demolished.

"I had shifted to Balongi on an assurance that the panchayat would allocate about 2 kanal for the museum. Since then, I was under the impression that the land had been allotted to the museum. However, recently I found out that the land has been acquired by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for a graveyard," said Parwinder.

He claimed that local Congress leader Tarlochan Singh Mann had assured him of providing panchayat land, adding that the leader failed to fulfill his commitment.

The curator added, "I am now told that as the land has been acquired by GMADA, the museum would be demolished soon. The panchayat as well as Mann have backtracked on the promise. A team of GMADA officials even visited the site for museum's demolition on Monday, but left after considering the record with me."

When contacted, local Congress leader Tarlochan Singh Mann said, "I had assured Parwinder of providing him land on lease and even asked him to meet the officials concerned but he failed to do so. I had even told him that the land is being acquired for graveyard but he failed to approach the authorities concerned."

Facing accusation of retracting on his assurance, Mann said, "It is a society promoting culture, and thus GMADA should allot the museum land before taking any action."

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