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Sarna fails to appear before Sikh clergy

punjab Updated: Jun 17, 2013 22:49 IST
HT Correspondent
Sikh clergy

Sikh clergy could not proceed against former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) Paramjit Singh Sarna in the 1984 Genocide Memorial case, after he expressed his inability to appear before them on Monday 'due to certain family and personal compulsions'.

Sarna alongwith his relative, Manjit Singh Sarna, had been summoned to appear before the five Sikh head priests for creating hurdles in the construction of the genocide memorial inside Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib complex in New Delhi. The two had petitioned the Delhi high court, seeking a stay on the construction of the memorial inside the premises of this historic shrine, which the DSGMC claimed was an attempt at the behest of the Congress to jeopardise its construction.

The DSGMC, alongwith other Sikh organizations, had sent written complaints against Sarna to the Akal Takht. The foundation stone of the memorial, dedicated to the riot victims of November 1984, was laid by Akal Takht jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh, alongwith the heads of the other Sikh Takhts last Monday.

Expressing his inability to appear on the scheduled date (June 17), Sarna in his letter to the Akal Takht jathedar, stated that the summons of the jathedar were delivered at his residence in Delhi on June 15 and he received these late in the night when he returned home.

"At such a short notice, it will not be possible for me to appear before the Akal Takht.

Moreover, I have some personal and family compulsions. In the light of this, I request you to give me any date between July 1-15," stated the letter delivered to the jathedar by Bhajan Singh Walia, secretary general of the SAD (Delhi), which Sarna heads.

The clergy at its meeting held at the Harmandar Sahib here after discussing Sarna's letter decided that a fresh date would be intimated to Sarna and his relative, Manjit Singh Sarna.

Besides Giani Gurbachan Singh, other head priests who took part in the meeting included Takht Keshgarh Sahib jathedar, Giani Tirlochan Singh, Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar, Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar, Giani Iqbal Singh and deputy Jathedar of Takht Hazoor Sahib in Nanded, Giani Jyot Inder Singh.

Delhi Akali leaders meeting clergy

Members of the SAD (Badal) from the national capital, Avtar Singh Hit and Kuldip Singh Bhogal met the clergy and handed over a letter demanded stern action against Sarna. In the letter, the two leaders threw light on the nexus of Sarna with the Congress.

They claimed that on a number of occasions, the DSGMC planned to construct the genocide memorial, but on each occasion, Sarna as president of the Gurdwara committee put his foot down. They also accused Sarna of indulging in corrupt practices and misusing gurdwara funds and properties.

No decision on Operation Bluestar memorial

When asked whether any decision had been taken on the 'Operation Bluestar' memorial, Giani Gurbachan Singh said: "The (verdict) has been kept on hold." He also refused to elaborate.

The memorial ran into controversy after the Damdami Taksal inscribed the name of its former head, Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale at the entrance of the memorial inside the Harmandar Sahib.

This was against the stand of the (SGPC) and the SAD that the memorial will not be dedicated to any individual and will be in the shape of a gurdwara with Parkash' of Guru Granth Sahib.

The issue reached the Akal Takht after the Taksal refused to erase the name of Bhinderanwale even after being asked by SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar.