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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Will think about summoning ex-jathedar once SIT report is out, says Akal Takht

The statement assumes significance as the jathedar is appointed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), a body that is controlled by the SAD.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 09, 2019 21:47 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
(HT File )

Two days after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) said that it rejected the special investigation team (SIT) probing the 2015 sacrilege and police firing incidents in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan, claiming that it was biased, the Akal Takht has said it will think about acting on the SIT’s report, when it comes out.

To a query on whether former Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and Takht Damdama Sahib acting jathedar Giani Gurmukh Singh would be summoned for their role in pardoning Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a blasphemy case, Akal Takht acting jathedar, Giani Harpreet Singh, said, “We will think about it, once the report comes out.” Giani Iqbal Singh, sacked as Takht Patna Sahib jathedar a few days ago, had made this demand.

“The SIT is probing these cases. Until or unless its report does not come out, we cannot take any action,” the acting jathedar added, after presiding over a meeting of the Sikh clergy at the secretariat of the Takht on Saturday.

The statement assumes significance as the jathedar is appointed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), a body that is controlled by the SAD.

A joint delegation of the SAD and the BJP is likely to meet Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore to highlight the alleged high-handedness of the SIT against opposition leaders in connection with the 2015 police firing incidents. The grant of apology to the dera chief at the Akal Takht is also part of the probe as it is linked to the sacrilege incidents that took place at Bargari village in Faridkot.

SGPC directed to give aid to convicts of waging war against state

Opposing a Nawanshahar court’s verdict of convicting three Sikh youths under the charges of waging war against state on the basis of literature recovered from their possession, the acting jathedar said, “The Akal Takht directs the SGPC to extend financial and legal aid to these youths named as Arwinder Singh, Surjit Singh and Ranjit Singh.”

He also directed the SGPC to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, holding common stage with the Punjab government.

The jathedar also appealed to the Sikh masses to celebrate the Gurta-Gaddi Diwas of the 7th Sikh master, Guru Har Rai, as Sikh Environment Day. He also released the controversial Nanakshahi calendar for the coming year as per local tradition.

Five-member panel to choose jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib

The meeting resolved that a five-member committee that will have presidents of the SGPC, the Takht Patna Sahib Management Board, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), the Chief Khalsa Diwan and Iqbal Singh, a member of Takht Hazur Sahib, Nanded Management Board, will choose the jathedar of the Takht Patna Sahib.

“Surinder Singh, a member of the Takht Patna Sahib board, will be the coordinator of the selection panel. This committee will suggest two names for the post with consent of Sikh organisations,” the acting jathedar added.

The Akal Takht has also directed the panel constituted to probe allegations of moral turpitude against Giani Iqbal Singh to finish its probe within 15 days and submit its report.

First Published: Mar 09, 2019 21:46 IST

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