SGPC forms five-member panel to probe violence

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Jun 12, 2014 09:55 IST

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has formed a 5-member committee to inquire into the violence that took place inside the Golden Temple complex on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Operation Bluestar on June six, which was observed at the Akal Takht.

The inquiry panel will include Baba Nihal Singh Harianvelawale, who heads the Harianvelawale religious ‘dera’ and Baba Avtar Singh, head of the Bidhi Chand sect. The other members are SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, SGPC executive member Karnail Singh Panjoli and SGPC additional secretary Balwinder Singh Jaurasinghia, who will be the coordinator of the committee.

Baba Nihal Singh and Baba Avtar Singh, were both present on the occasion of the Operation Bluestar anniversary function at the Akal Takht. While Jaurasinghia also witnessed the June 6 clash, Bhaur and Panjoli were not in Amritsar on that day.

The announcement of the committee was made by SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar here on Wednesday. In an informal chat with the media, he said that the panel will submit its report to him within a week.

The inquiry panel has been formed by the SGPC on the orders of Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh. Therefore, Makkar will further submit the report to the jathedar, who has already made it clear that those responsible will not be spared and will be dealt with in accordance with Sikh tenets.

After the submission of the report, the jathedar will call a meeting of the jathedars of the other Takhts to discuss the report. Makkar had blamed Akali Dal (Amritsar) president and former MP Simranjit Singh Mann for the violence. The jathedar, while not blaming Mann, had alleged that “persons belonging to certain agencies” were responsible as they wanted to defame the Sikhs.

The clash, which had primarily taken place between the SGPC task force and supporters of certain radical groups, had left 12 injured, including seven SGPC employees. The police had later registered a case and arrested 21 persons while seven are still at large.

Mann has already stated that an inquiry by the SGPC cannot be impartial. It is in this backdrop that Makkar has included heads of two religious sects in the panel.

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