The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has appointed former banker Harcharan Singh as its first chief secretary.
The appointment was made during a meeting of the executive committee of the SGPC held in Anandpur Sahib on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar.
The SGPC had conducted interviews for the post in Amritsar a few days back.
Meanwhile, activists of Sikh Sadhbhavana Dal held a silent protest outside the meeting hall against the appointment. Some other Sikh organisations are also opposing the move.
While talking to mediapersons after the meeting, Makkar said the appointment of Harcharan Singh, a former deputy chairman of Punjab and Sind Bank, was made on contractual basis for three years. He would be given a salary of Rs 3 lakh per month, a car and accommodation.
He said the executive committee had decided that the SGPC would provide Rs 2 crore to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee for completing the work of painting the Anandpur Sahib town white.
Makkar said the SGPC would construct houses for the Sikhs of Afghanistan in Amritsar and Ludhiana and their children would be provided higher education in the colleges being run by the Sikh body.
He said the building of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, would be renovated as per the report of the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and the kar sewa would be done by the Nishkam Seva Jatha, Birmingham.
He said the photo of former jathedar of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib Giani Tarlochan Singh would be installed at the Central Sikh Museum on the Harmandar Sahib complex.
He said the families of pilgrims who had died at the Sikh shrine in Manikaran following a landslide would be provided assistance of `50,000 each while the injured would be given Rs 25,000 each.