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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Will not forcibly take over Gurdwaras from SGPC: Haryana govt

None  Chandigarh, July 21, 2014
First Published: 20:02 IST(21/7/2014) | Last Updated: 08:52 IST(22/7/2014)

Haryana government on Monday said it will not forcibly take over the gurdwaras in the state from the Amritsar-based SGPC after a separate body to manage the Sikh shrines comes into being and hoped that an amicable solution would be reached out between the two groups.

Haryana finance minister Harmohinder Singh Chattha assailed the Amritsar-based SGPC's strategy of positioning its task force to retain the possession of the shrines.

Chattha, who headed the Committee which recommended to the state government a separate body to manage Haryana gurdwaras, said, "Everything will be done peacefully, there is no question of forcibly occupying the shrines."

He said that the SGPC's strategy of positioning its task force at gurdwaras in Haryana was "unfortunate".

"This is not appropriate. Groups of 50-100 armed persons have entered the gurdwaras. But we will not confront them and try to resolve things in a peaceful manner."  According to Chattha, Amritsar-based SGPC supporters had converged in large numbers in key gurdwaras in Haryana to retain control over the Sikh shrines in the wake of Haryana Assembly recently passing a Bill for the formation of a separate body.

The Haryana Sikh leaders, who had been spearheading the campaign for a separate body, have launched a state-wide agitation from Ambala to draw out supporters of Amritsar based-SGPC from the shrines.

The minister hoped that a "solution" can be worked out amicably between the two groups, paving a way for the smooth take over by the HSGPC of the shrines in the state, which are presently under Amritsar-based SGPC's control.

Chattha also slammed Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, other Akali leaders and the SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar for launching a "disinformation campaign" to mislead people and flare up the issue of separate SGPC.

"Badal is trying to make it a big issue out of nothing. Everyone knows that he is doing so to find an excuse of handing over the baton to his son and Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh," Chattha claimed.

With Akali leadership including Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal today terming the Haryana's move as "unconstitutional", Chattha said, "Badal, Makkar or anybody else cannot scrutinise the legislation passed by the Assembly which has become an Act and been notified after the Governor's assent. This can be scrutinised by court and our Bill will stand till the last. If anybody has an objection, he is free to approach judiciary".

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