Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar has expressed anguish over 'birs' of the Guru Granth Sahib getting destroyed in 'accidental' fires that occur in gurdwaras, particularly during the summer season due to electric short circuit.
In this context, he pointed to a such incident occurring at a gurdwara in Dhariwal village in Tarn Taran district on Thursday night. In this incident, a 'bir' of the scripture kept at the gurdwara was destroyed in the fire.
In a statement issued here on Friday, Makkar said that such incidents can be avoided provided gurdwara management committees take the necessary precautionary measures.
He pointed out that the electric circuit in and outside gurdwaras should be constantly checked and wherever the need arises, old wires should be immediately replaced.
"Such incidents occur due to lapses on the part of management committees. They must realise the importance of the Guru Granth Sahib, which is our living guru and hence should be protected at all costs", he added.
Makkar also observed that gurdwaras must have fire extinguishers, so that a fire can be extinguished as soon as it breaks out. Unfortunately most gurdwaras do not have fire extinguishers, he noted.
The SGPC chief also advised management committees to check the electricity wiring in the room where the scripture is kept at night. He said that in future the SGPC member of the area where such an incident occurs will be held accountable by the SGPC.
A couple of days back, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh too had expressed similar opinion after a couple of incidents of the scripture being destroyed in fires were brought to his notice. He had indicated that in case of accidental fires, the local gurdwara management committees will be made accountable.