The Panj Pyaras on Saturday directed the Sikh community to socially boycott the jathedars of the Akal Takht, Takht Keshgarh Sahib and Takht Damdama Sahib for “failing to uphold the ‘maryada’ (traditions)” of the Takhts.
The Panj Pyaras passed the order as in October the jathedars had pardoned the Sirsa dera head in a blasphemy case. Then, the Panj Pyaras had directed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) executive to remove Giani Gurbachan Singh, jathedar of the Akal Takht; Giani Mal Singh, jathedar of Takht Keshgarh Sahib; and Giani Gurmukh Singh, acting jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Panj Pyaras at Gurdwara Teraan Singh Shaheeda, close to Gurdwara Ramsar here, on Saturday. They kept the venue a closely guarded secret after the SGPC did not allow them to hold the meeting at the Akal Takht on the grounds that four of the five had been sacked while the fifth had retired.
The four who took part in the meeting are Satnam Singh Khanda, Satnam Singh, Mangal Singh and Tirlok Singh. Major Singh had retired from service on Thursday.
Hold Makkar guilty
The Panj Pyaras held SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and his chief secretary Harcharan Singh guilty of “religious misconduct”. The two were found guilty of “not complying with the orders” of the Panj Pyaras passed on October 13 to remove the three jathedars. Instead of blaming the executive, the Panj Pyaras squarely blamed the SGPC chief and chief secretary for this.
In their written order, the Panj Pyaras said, “The ‘quam’ (community) will decide on the punishment to Makkar and Harcharan Singh.” The Panj Pyaras held the jathedars guilty of lowering the dignity of the Takhts. They said Giani Gurbachan Singh had failed to “uphold the maryada of the Takht”. “It is now up to the ‘quam’ to find ways and means to restore the authority of the Akal Takht,” they told the media later.
Prevented from entering Golden Temple
The Panj Pyaras tried to sneak into the Golden Temple complex around Friday midnight. However, an alert SGPC task force prevented them near the community kitchen building.
In the morning, a large police contingent was deployed around the shrine in case the Panj Pyaras tried to force their entry.
The police was also apprehensive that activists of some radical groups could come to their aid.
Meanwhile, radical group Dal Khalsa hailed the decision of the Panj Pyaras. Its spokesman Kanwarpal Singh said they would abide by their orders.