The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Saturday reiterated its demand for providing LPG cylinders at subsidised rates for its langars at the Golden temple and other gurdwaras run by it.
"We are doing a service to humanity. It is part of our tradition. We are not asking for any personal gains," said SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, while addressing the media here.
Makkar had on Friday shot off letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and union petroleum minister Verappan Moily on the LPG subsidy issue. He had claimed that the recent hike of Rs 220 per domestic cylinder would further burden the SGPC.
Makkar pointed out that when there was subsidy, the SGPC spent around Rs 10.37 crore a year on LPG cylinders. After the subsidy was withdrawn, the expenditure has shot up to Rs 34.77 crore in a year.
Taking serious view of a private company booking online 'pinni parsad' of the Golden Temple, Makkar said, "This amounts to hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs as it is against our tradition. We have asked the owner of the company to stop this practice immediately or else we may have to take legal action in the matter."
The Bengaluru-based company has claimed that around 500 devotees from abroad had utilised its services for ordering of 'pinni parsad'.
Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh also termed it as violation of Sikh 'maryada' (tenets). He had asked the SGPC to stop the practice.
Makkar facilitates kabaddi players
Makkar handed over Royal Enfield motorcycles to Gurmit Singh Mandia and Gurpreet Singh Manake, members of the Indian kabaddi team that won the fourth Kabaddi World Cup last month. The two are members of the SGPC kabaddi team and have participated in club tournaments held in England, Canada and other countries.
On the upcoming SGPC under-15 hockey team, Makkar said it would be ready by April and will participate in national-level tournaments before being given international exposure.
Currently 84 players are admitted to three hockey academies being run by the SGPC in Amritsar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Faridkot.
The SGPC has decided to honour Bhai Gurmez Singh, who translated the Guru Granth Sahib into the Braille system for the benefit of blind devotees.
He will be honoured with the Sikh Rattan award to be given at the Akal Takht on January 21.
Sikh historian Prof Kirpal Singh and ragi Amrik Singh Zakhmi will also be honoured on that day for their contribution to Sikhism.