Sikh voices question SGPC, Akal Takht on 328 missing saroops

Taking action against those indicted in the report of inquiry that advocate Ishar Singh-led panel conducted, the SGPC executive has already dismissed six staffers, suspended five and terminated the services of a controversial CA firm on Thursday
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Updated on Aug 28, 2020 08:21 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Amritsar | By

AMRITSAR The row over missing saroops refuses to die down with a section of the Sikh community raising questions on why have these not been recovered. The recent inquiry that the Akal Takht had ordered put the number of missing saroops at 328.

Taking action against those indicted in the report of inquiry that advocate Ishar Singh-led panel conducted, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) executive has already dismissed six staffers, suspended five and terminated the services of a controversial Chartered Accountancy (CA) firm on Thursday. This was done on the Akal Takht’s directions.

SGPC member and former general secretary Kiranjot Kaur said, “The SGPC has decided that who is to be blamed for the missing 328 birs. The original question still stands where are the missing birs?”.

“The Punjab Human Rights Organization (PHRO) wants to know the fate of 328 missing saroops, plus the 186, which were printed and issued to devotees without authorisation and proper entries, and persons on whose directions these saroops were provided,” said Sarbjit Singh Verka, chief investigator of the human rights advocacy group, which brought the matter to light, sending the apex gurdwara body into a fix.

Panthic Talmel Sangathan, the umbrella organisation representing several Sikh groups, said, “The million-dollar question is where are the missing saroops and in which condition they are? The SGPC is silent on this question.” Former Khalsa College principal Baljinder Singh had also raised the same question, while cornering the SGPC on the issue.

“If the chief secretary owns moral responsibility and resigns from his post, does the president have no moral responsibility? The SGPC functions on the orders of its president, while the staff led by chief secretary is responsible for implementation of these orders. The president cannot evade moral responsibility,” added Kaur.

Verka added, “Longowal and the SGPC executive committee should resign in lieu of this letter to them in 2018 in which statutory auditors have pointed out irregularities and embezzlements on which no action was taken. Erring officials of the SGPC were protected.” He also made the letter public.

There is also demand to make the inquiry report public. “It is necessary to make the inquiry report public, because everyone wants to know if action has been taken as per report and which aspects are highlighted and which issues have been ignored,” said Giani Kewal Singh, convener, and advocate Jaswinder Singh, co-convener of the panthic sangathan.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Surjit Singh is a correspondent. He covers politics and agriculture, besides religious affairs and Indo-Pak border in Amritsar and Tarn Taran.

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