The three-member panel formed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on February 6 to probe into the pre-poll pact between the Shiromani Akali Dal and Dera Sacha Sauda will be seeking more time to submit its findings to the Akal Takht.
SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar had given the panel one week to submit its report.
“We are still probing the matter. As there are a lot of details to be looked into, we need more time,” said SGPC general secretary Amarjit Singh Chawla, who is part of the panel. The panel is headed by SGPC vice-president Baldev Singh Kayampur and has Gurcharan Singh as its other member.
Chawla said the panel is looking into various details, including who all attended meetings of the Sirsa-based dera, headed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, and where and how many times such meetings were held.
“Right now, we just have newspaper cuttings. We are trying to identify those who attended the meetings. We will record statements of all these people,” he said, claiming it was not possible to give the exact number of such people.
“As the probe is time-consuming and involves a serious issue, we will seek more time from the Akal Takht to submit the report,” said Chawla.
The Akal Takht, Sikhism’s highest temporal seat, had directed social boycott of the dera in an edict issued in 2007. Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh directed the SGPC to form a probe panel after reports surfaced of Akali leaders attended the dera’s meetings ahead of the assembly elections in Punjab. The dera had extended support to the ruling combine, and a few Akali leaders had promised to facilitate its congregations in the state.