Unsatisfied over their concerns not being redressed by the administration regarding the control of Rathike Sahib Gurdwara at Marhana village here, hundreds of residents shifted their dharna from the gurdwara premises to the Amritsar-Sri Ganganagar National Highway on Sunday morning. The villagers were protesting against the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for wresting control of the gurdwara on Friday.
The blockade continued all through the day till the filing of this report, adversely affecting the commuters.
Earlier, the villagers had been demanding control and management of the gurdwara from religious organisation Baba Sukha Singh Kar Sewa Sarhali, which got control of the gurdwara from the local gurdwara management committee in the first week of December.
In view of the outrage of villagers, Baba Sukha Singh Kar Sewa Sarhali lifted control of the gurdwara on Friday and its men left the gurdwara but employees of SGPC were deployed there without any official notification by the apex gurdwara body.
The villagers have been protesting from December 8, demanding that control of the gurdwara should be handed to representatives of the villagers. They are arguing that it is unjust to hand over the gurdwara to an outside organisation, as the village had donated a large chunk of land measuring around 25 acres to the gurdwara.
Till Saturday, the villagers continued their stir by conducting ‘akhand paaths’ (Sikh prayer) on the land situated behind the gurdwara. They were not deterred even as the administration prohibited unlawful assembly in the village.