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Home / Punjab / Akal Takht Jathedar’s resignation will lessen anger among Sikhs, says former SGPC chief Makkar

Akal Takht Jathedar’s resignation will lessen anger among Sikhs, says former SGPC chief Makkar

Makkar had stated that Sukhbir Singh Badal, the then deputy chief minister, had informed him about the plans to pardon the Dera head, but he had advised him against it.

punjab Updated: Oct 19, 2018 14:54 IST
Mohit Khanna
Mohit Khanna
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Avtar Singh Makkar
Avtar Singh Makkar (HT File )

Former Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar has supported the resignation of Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh.

“Pardoning the Dera Sacha Sauda chief had caused resentment among the Sikh community. I believe that the resignation will lessen the anger,” he said.

Makkar was in the thick of a controversy for his comments on the Akal Takht for issuing pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, against whom the Sikh clergy had passed an edict for his allegedly blasphemous act of imitating Guru Gobind Singh in 2007.

The pardon was followed by a series of incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in parts of Punjab and police firing that killed two Sikh protesters, stoking the Sikh anger against then ruling Akali Dal.

Makkar had stated that Sukhbir Singh Badal, the then deputy chief minister, had informed him about the plans to pardon the Dera head, but he had advised him against it. Makkar was the SGPC president in 2015.

His comments had triggered a storm in SAD back then and he was accused by its leaders for dancing to the tunes of the ruling Congress government.

However, on October 3, SAD supremo Sukhbir Singh Badal had visited Makkar’s house to sought out the differences. Makkar had also accompanied Sukhbir in a rally at Model Town and claimed to remain the loyal servant of the “panth” and SAD till his last breath.

On being asked about the most probable replacement for Giani Gurbachan Singh, Makkar said, “The position of Akal Takht jathedar carries a lot of responsibilities and it should be occupied by the one who has the potential and qualities.”

He said that the resignation is significant in the wake of SGPC elections scheduled for November 13.

Whether he was looking forward to become president of the SGPC again, Makkar, said that it was up to the elected office bearers to decide.