Inviting a dera head to deliver a Sikh sermon at the annual religious function of a historical gurdwara at Lopo village in this district on Thursday almost led to clash between the shrine's management and panchayat.
The non-deployment of a power generator added fuel to this tension between the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) affiliate body and some villagers who saw violation of an Akal Takht edict in the dera head's delivering the discourse.
A heavy contingent of the police isolated the zone in time and took control of the gurdwara to prevent a fight. "The sarpanch and some other members of the panchayat threatened to interrupt the function, if our invited preacher took the stage," said Ram Singh, president of the local gurdwara committee.
"I called for security, for the objection was needless. The gurdwara's electricity generator was out of order for the past few days. Are we to blame?"
Sarpanch Harjeet Singh said the panchayat's objection was only over running the function without electricity. "How can we interrupt a function dedicated to our Gurus?" he said. "The panchayat also has Sikhs. The allegations of the gurdwara committee are false."
It was unfortunate that the police had to enter the gurdwara, said Jagraj Singh Daudhar, member of the SGPC. "It was necessary to maintain peace, and law and order," he said. "I wasn't present when the local gurdwara committee went to the police. It has right to invite any priest for preaching, who may be from any dera as long as it is dedicated to Sikhism."
"Jaswant Singh, former head granthi of Darbar Sahib in Amritsar, also preached at the function for an hour," said Daudhar. It was our duty to see that no one interrupted the function, Deepak Singh, station house officer of Badhni Kalan, has said.