Asserting that the five Takht jathedars had sinned by pardoning Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, former Akal Takht jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti, former Takht Damdama Sahib jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh and the Damdami Taksal faction led by Ram Singh on Tuesday demanded that the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) dismiss all five jathedars.
After a meeting with representatives of Sikh bodies at Gurdwara Central Town here, Vedanti and Nandgarh claimed that the jathedars, under pressure from the Punjab government and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had violated all traditions of the Sikh community.
“By taking this decision, the jathedars have violated maryada, principles and traditions of the Akal Takht. The SGPC should immediately sack them. After this, the Panth would decide what punishment should be awarded to them,” said Vedanti and Nandgarh. Representatives of Sikh organisations, including All India Sikh Students Federation president Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad, were also present on the occasion.
“When the decision to frame charges against the dera chief was taken by the jathedars, we had a big Sikh congregation at Takht Damdama Sahib. We had a debate over the issue too. But it’s shameful that when the dera chief was absolved of the charges, it was done in a secret manner,” said Vedanti.
“Still, if they (jathedars) feel that they took the right decision, they should come forward to have an open debate with us and the Sikh community,” said Nandgarh.
Vedanti stated that if the SGPC failed to take action, they would bring various Sikh organisations on one platform to form a joint committee to fight for the honour of Sikhs.
They alleged that the decision showed how chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was using jathedars as political tools.
“We have seen a copy of the dera’s letter. Their statement is not apologetic at all,” said the ex-jathedars. Both said they would support the half-day bandh called on Wednesday over the dera issue.