Buckling under the pressure of the Sikh community and also from within, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar on Sunday reinstated Panj Pyaras (the five beloved ones), who were suspended on October 21.
SGPC spokesperson Diljeet Singh Bedi said while exercising the powers granted to him to take a call on the issue by the SGPC executive, Makkar reinstated the five beloved Sikhs.
After the SGPC’s U-turn on Panj Pyaras, the fate of their decision asking the Sikh high priests to resign remains unclear. However, Panj Pyaras are hopeful that the SGPC executive will not overlook their directive. Both the SGPC and the Akal Takht jathedar had rejected their decision, saying they had no authority to act against the Sikh clergy.
The SGPC spokesperson also remained mum on the fate the decision of Panj Pyaras.
The “Panj Pyaras” were suspended when they had summoned jathedars of five Takhts to explain their role in granting pardon to the Dera Sacha Sauda chief in a blasphemy case. Showing strong defiance to the SGPC order, Panj Pyaras directed the jathedars of all Takhts to resign on October 23, which was termed illegal by Makkar. Under such strained circumstances, the SGPC had to cancel the proposed emergency meeting of its executive on October 26 in Chandigarh.
Makkar was facing strong resentment from the Sikh community and SGPC employees ever since he suspended Panj Pyaras. This was evident when an SGPC employee threw his resignation letter towards Makkar when he was addressing a press conference in Amritsar.
The SGPC executive was also divided over the suspension of Panj Pyaras.
It is learnt that the state government, which is already facing criticism for allegedly failing to control situation after sacrilege incidents, had gone into the damage-control mode on Saturday night itself. After removing director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini, the SGPC top brass on Sunday went into a huddle and decided to revoke the suspension of Panj Pyaras.
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SGPC chief suspends Panj Pyaras and transfers them
Panj Pyaras direct jathedars of five Takhts to quit
Makkar terms Panj Pyaras’ directive illegal
SGPC chief revokes suspension of Panj Pyaras