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HindustanTimes Sat,22 Nov 2014

Police not to enter gurdwaras: Chattha

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 22, 2014
First Published: 08:39 IST(22/7/2014) | Last Updated: 12:05 IST(22/7/2014)

Haryana finance minister HS Chattha on Monday said that the state police would not enter gurdwaras of the state where armed workers of the SGPC had descended, subsequent to the recent enactment the Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Act, 2014, which empowered ad hoc Haryana SGPC members to run them.

Briefing newspersons on the row, Chattha, who headed the state government’s panel on the issue for over a decade, said though Haryana wanted an amicable solution to the ongoing row, there was no question of withdrawing the Act.

On questions about the state government’s role in the row, Chattha maintained he was hopeful that both factions would soon reach an amicable solution.

On Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s threat to resign in case the Act was not withdrawn, Chattha said he was amused to hear that as everyone knew that irrespective of the Act, Badal was already too keen to step down to make way for his deputy CM-son Sukhbir Badal.

On his excommunication by the Akal Takht, he said he was and would always remain a Sikh. “However, though I have not yet received any letter from the Takht, as per Sikh ‘maryada’, I should appear before the Takht in case I get excommunicated,” he added.

On the issue of an advertisement issued by the SGPC in which it was alleged that the Haryana government would now control all donations of the gurdwaras, Chattha said he was shocked to see how ‘welleducated’ persons of the Takht could fail to understand simple facts about the Act as they had got it all wrong.

Chattha said to ensure implementation of the Act, the Haryana Sikh Gurudwara Judicial Commission and the Gurdwara Election Commission would be constituted and the expenditure on them would be borne by the state government. Describing the SGPC advertisement under the title ‘ Hooda sarkar ka Sikh kaum ke saath bada fareb’ as completely baseless, he accused the SGPC of misleading the people by terming the gurdwara bill as money bill.

Chattha made it clear that the ‘golak’ money belonged to the gurdwaras and would be spent on their upkeep and management.

CHIEF KHALSA DIWAN OPPOSES HSGMC

Amritsar: Chief Khalsa Diwan, a Sikh body devoted to the cause of spreading education among Sikhs, has opposed the formation of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC).

Chief Khalsa Diwan president Charanjit Singh Chadha, in a statement issued here on Monday, termed the formation of the separate committee for management of the Sikh shrines in Haryana as detrimental to the unity of the Sikh community.

“Besides direct interference in Sikh religious affairs, this is an attempt on the part of the Haryana government to divide the Sikhs,” he said.

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