The Sikh clergy has made it clear that the holy scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, and a liquor bar cannot co-exist under one roof. "Those Sikh families that maintain a liquor bar are directed that the Guru Granth Sahib be moved to the gurdwara nearest to their homes," Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh told the media here on Friday, after chairing a meeting attended by jathedars of all holy seats of the Sikh religion.
Those in attendance were Giani Tirlochan Singh (Takht Kesgarh Sahib), Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh (Takht Damdama Sahi), Giani Iqbal Singh (Takht Patna Sahib); and the assistant jathedar of Takht Hazoor Sahib, Giani Partap Singh. Head granthi of Harmandar Sahib, Giani Mal Singh, was also present.
However, it was clarified that the order would not cover 'gutkas' (pocket-sized prayer books) and abridged versions of the scripture.
The clergy also held a meeting with certain publishers and printers of religious books, and listed precautions to be adopted while transporting such books. Each packet should weigh between 20 and 25 kg, and the words 'handle with care' must be written on top. Such literature should be transported preferably in covered vehicles, said the clergy.
Subhead: Unhappy with verdict in Ludhiana robbery
Expressing "concern" over the November 20 court verdict in the Ludhiana bank robbery case indicting former Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) activist Daljit Singh Bittu and 11 others, the clergy at its meeting observed that even a 92-year old person had not been spared. "The verdict is bound to cause heartburn in the community," the clergy stated. "While no justice has been done till date in the anti-Sikh riots cases of 1984, the courts are quick to decide cases pertaining to the Sikh community."
Cops held 'guilty' of hurting religious sentiments
The Sikh clergy also held "certain police officials" guilty of having hurt the religious sentiments of a baptised Sikh patwari (revenue official), Mohan Singh Bhadepur. The incident took place on February 18 in Moga, when the police claimed to have caught Mohan for bribery. The patwari has since been acquitted, and the police are facing action for misusing their powers.
In a complaint at Takht Damdama Sahib, Mohan, who is the vice-president of the Punjab Revenue Patwar Union, had alleged that the then Moga SSP SS Grewal, at the instance of then vigilance bureau SSP Shiv Kumar Sharma, had abused him and passed derogatory remarks on Sikh religious symbols.
A two-member probe committee formed by the clergy held the police officials "guilty". After members of the union met Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh during the clergy meeting, he later told the media, "The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) secretary has been directed to take legal action against the indicted officials."
He did not name the officials involved, though the patwar union identified them in its press release.