Ex-jathedar’s granthi brother resigns after transfer, trains guns at Badals
In his resignation sent to SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar, Himmat expressly said he had to resign as he was being “harassed and victimised” due to his kinship with Giani Gurmukh Singh.Updated: Oct 04, 2017 09:37 IST
Twelve days after the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) transferred him from Golden Temple in Amritsar to a gurdwara in Haryana’s Jind district, granthi Bhai Himmat Singh resigned from his post on Tuesday, alleging harassment.
Himmat is a brother of Giani Gurmukh Singh, who had been removed as Takht Damdama Sahib jathedar and transferred to the same Gurdwara Dhamdhan Sahib in Jind after he had alleged that the Badals of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had managed the 2015 pardon by the Sikh clergy to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for a blasphemy case of 2007. That pardon had later been retracted after pressure from the community.
In his resignation sent to SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar, Himmat expressly said he had to resign as he was being “harassed and victimised” due to his kinship with Gurmukh Singh “who had disclosed that the then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son (and deputy) Sukhbir Singh Badal ordered the jathedars led by Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh to pardon the dera chief”.
Himmat told HT that he will go to Justice Ranjit Singh Commission that is conducting a probe into incidents of sacrilege and other related matters.
“The conflict of my brother with Badal family started when the Sirsa-based dera extended support to the SAD in the last assembly polls in Punjab. Then, some secretaries and additional secretaries also advised him to speak the truth, telling him that otherwise ‘you would be the personality in the history with blot on your forehead’,” reads the resignation.
He also said that SGPC officials did not consider that his wife has a brain-related ailment and has faced a paralysis attack. “Besides, I have two kids— daughter is 13-year-old and son is 11-year-old. Despite this, my case was not considered on humanitarian grounds,” he elaborated in the letter.
He wrote that the SGPC had come into existence after countless sacrifices of Sikhs during the gurdwara reforms movement, “but nowadays it has totally been controlled by the Badal family”. He also said that Golden Temple manager Sulakhan Singh is “close to former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia” and working “on his directions”.
Plans to move Ranjit panel
Further, Himmat told HT that he will go to Justice Ranjit Singh Commission that is conducting a probe into incidents of sacrilege and other related matters. The commission had summoned Badungar with record related to the pardoning of the dera chief from the Akal Takht. The SGPC has rejected the summons, saying that it is “a challenge to supreme Sikh institutions”.
“Badal called the jathedars at the residence to hand over the apology letter and asked them to pardon dera chief for his blasphemy.”
Speaking to HT, Himmat said he will record his statement with the commission that “the plan of pardoning the dera chief was made at the official residence of the then CM, and the then cabinet minister Daljit Singh Cheema was also present there”.
“Badal called the jathedars, including my brother, at the residence to hand over the apology letter and ask them to pardon dera chief for his blasphemy against Sikh faith,” he alleged.
It is worth mentioning here that after the media grilled Sukhbir during a press conference here on allegations levelled by the former jathedar, the SGPC had cut off power and water supply to his official house on the premises of the Golden Temple on September 17. That was later restored. But, less than a week after that, the former jathedar’s brother, Himmat, who lived in that house, was transferred.