Suspension of ‘Panj Pyaras’: SGPC indecisive, leaves decision to Makkar

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 22, 2015 23:25 IST
Avtar Singh Makkar, President of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HT Photo)

The emergency meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) executive convened after Wednesday’s suspension of the ‘Panj Pyaras’ for their unprecedented summoning the Akal Takht jathedar and four other Sikh head priests turned out to be a stormy affair and ended on an indecisive note here on Thursday.

In Mukstar, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh met SGPC members from five districts at Badal village to discuss the prevailing scenario in the state.

At SGPC’s Chandigarh meeting, 14 of the 15 members of the executive authorised SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar to take a decision on the ‘Panj Pyaras’.

It is learnt that a majority of the SGPC executive members were opposed to the suspension of the ‘Panj Pyaras’.

When contacted after the meeting, Makkar was non-committal and said: “There is no immediate decision.”

Earlier, Makkar arrived in a car driven by Dyal Singh Kolianwali, who is close to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, at Kalgidhar Niwas, the meeting venue.

SAD (Amritsar) activists staged a black flag protest outside the venue, demanding Makkar’s resignation.

Nominated SGPC executive member from Amritsar Mangal Singh Sandhu did not attend the meeting. SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur said, “The situation for Sikhs is a concern. They are being arrested, beaten and injured. This is bad.”

Punjab limps back to normalcy

With paramilitary forces keeping a tight vigil in areas rattled by violence over desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, the state on Thursday appeared to be limping back to normalcy.

The Centre has sought a report from the state government on information about alleged foreign hand in the recent incidents of sacrilege.

The Sikh protesters have now shifted their dharnas and blockades to inner roads with most of the national highways witnessing normal traffic movement, officials said.

Traffic movement on Harike Pattan bridge at Tarn Taran has been restored, police said.

Ten companies of paramilitary forces and Punjab police personnel are keeping a tight vigil in the wake of protests by Sikh organizations across the state.

SSP to be chargesheeted

Former Faridkot SSP Charanjit Sharma is set to be chargesheeted for alleged negligence and police firing on Sikh activists, who had been protesting sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari in Faridkot district, official sources said.

Sharma, who was SSP Faridkot when the holy book was first reported stolen from a gurdwara there, is facing suspension for lapses in the line of duty.

Meanwhile, the hardliners feel that the two youths arrested by police in connection with the alleged act of sacrilege in Bargari village are innocent. SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann said until the ‘bir’ (scriptures) stolen from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village was recovered and subjected to forensic tests to confirm that the pages found in Bargari were from it, it was hard to believe the police theory.

“The police story has gaps,” Mann alleged, demanding a CBI probe.

Bhagwant Mann meets Rajnath

Aam Aadmi Party MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday and urged him to ensure peace in the state. During the 15-minute meeting, Mann conveyed to the home minister that the situation in Punjab was “very disturbing”.

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