Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar has called for adopting safety measures to prevent fire caused by short circuit at gurdwaras.
Makkar’s raised the concern following the Saturday incident at a gurdwara in Talwandi Mohar village of Patti in Tarn Taran district. The ‘saroop’ of the Guru Granth Sahib kept at the shrine was burnt in the fire, which was caused due to the short-circuiting of electrical wires.
In a statement issued here on Monday, the SGPC chief pointed out that a number of similar incidents had occurred in the past. “Unfortunately, despite appeals from the SGPC for adhering to safety measures, the managers of shrines have not taken any serious steps,” he said.
Appeals of the SGPC made in the past have mostly been directed towards managements of gurdwaras functioning in villages. “Despite our warnings, managements of some of the shrines continue to use inferior-quality wires, even in the room where the scripture is kept,” he said.
Referring to the occurrence of such incidents during night hours as was the case in Talwandi Mohar village, Makkar said this clearly pointed to the lax attitude of the gurdwara management in the village. No one was present in the gurdwara when the fire broke out in the room where the scripture had been kept, he said.
“We have time and again given instructions that at least one ‘sewadar’ must remain present inside the shrine during night hours,” he said.
Even the Akal Takht has expressed concern over such incidents that often lead to Sikh scriptures being reduced to ashes. In fact, the Akal Takht, a few years back, had warned that the management would be held responsible for such incidents. Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, too, has pulled up the management of the Talwandi Mohar gurdwara after the SGPC Dharam Prachar Committee visited the village and pointed out shortcomings.