Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann on Thursday demanded that fresh elections should be held to the general House of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Talking to the media after being released by the police, he said cases pending before the Supreme Court and the Punjab and Haryana high court should be withdrawn and fresh SGPC elections be ordered. The 2011 elections to the SGPC have been challenged in courts by the Sehajdhari Federation after their right to vote in the gurdwara body polls was withdrawn by the Centre on the advice of the ruling SAD.
In the absence of any general House, the courts have allowed the 15-member SGPC executive elected in November 2010 to conduct day-to-day functioning of the religious body. It is by virtue of this ruling that Avtar Singh Makkar and other office-bearers have continued in office since then.
“The Badals, who control the SGPC, no longer enjoy the confidence of the Sikh community. Hence, fresh polls should be held,” Mann said while referring to the response received by the radical Sarbat Khalsa held on Wednesday.
Mann was released on health grounds after being in police detention since Wednesday morning.
He claimed that certain individuals were keeping a watch on him since his release and also following him. “I fear that I may be targeted in the coming days,” Mann said. He lodged a complaint with police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh in this regard. Condemning the detention of some radical leaders, he demanded their release.