Tug-of-war begins over Bathinda gurdwara after Daduwal’s arrest

  • Sachin Sharma, Hindustan Times, Bathinda
  • Updated: Aug 23, 2014 11:18 IST

With the police arresting Sikh radical leader Baljit Singh Daduwal and his two supporters in a 2009 case, the tussle to take control of the Jandalisar gurdwara in Kotshamir near here, which was managed by Daduwal, has begun.

Soon after the news of Daduwal’s arrest spread, a local member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Amrik Singh Kotshamir, along with some villagers, reached the gurdwara on Friday morning. He took its control and locked its rooms. Police was deployed at the gurdwara to check any untoward incident.

Amrik said Daduwal, with the help of armed securitymen, had spoiled the sanctity of this religious place. He claimed that villagers did not want Daduwal to manage the gurdwara as they felt scared in visiting the place due to the presence of armed people.

Later, Daduwal’s followers from the village, too, reached the place and both groups had an altercation. Amrik maintained that as the gurdwara belonged to the panchayat, the latter would decide whether to hand it over to the SGPC or to manage it through a local management committee.

Some of the people who donated land for setting up the gurdwara also reached the spot. Ughar Singh, a land donor, said they had donated land to the gurdwara, not to the SGPC, so they wouldn’t allow the latter to take its control.

Daduwal has been managing the gurdwara for the past over eight years, as per villagers, and the SGPC had never objected to it. The SGPC had supported Daduwal during clashes between followers of Dera Sacha Sauda and Daduwal in 2009.

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