SGPC disconnects power, water supply to house of Damdama Sahib ex-jathedar; wants eviction
Gurmukh was among the five high priests who had exonerated Dera Sacha Sauda head (and later revoked their decision) in 2015, who committed blasphemy in 2007 by dressing up as a Sikh guru.punjab Updated: Sep 17, 2017 21:41 IST
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has disconnected power and water supply to the house of former Takht Sri Damdama Sahib jathedar Giani Gurmukh Singh on Sunday. His family has also been asked to vacate the house. Gurmukh was not at home as he was transferred as the head priest of a gurdwara in Haryana in April this year.
The action comes days after Gurmukh is reported to have clarified before the Akal Takht’s sacked Panj Piaras that the decision to pardon rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim by Sikh priest was a blunder committed under political influence. Akal Takht is the supreme temporal seat of Sikhs.
In April, he was shifted after levelling allegations that the Sikh clergy led by Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh pardoned dera chief on directions of the then Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and son Sukhbir, the then deputy chief minister.
Gurmukh was among the five high priests who had exonerated Dera Sacha Sauda head (and later revoked their decision) in 2015. The dera head has committed blasphemy in 2007 by dressing up as a Sikh guru.
Media questioning of Sukhbir on Friday precipitated action
In what cannot entirely be dismissed entirely as coincidence, the SGPC action has come a day after the media grilled former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Gurmukh’s allegations that he (Sukhbir) and the previous regime had played in pardoning the dera chief.
In response to the media questioning, the SAD president had termed the ex-jathedar as a a liar. Sukhbir even claimed that Gurmukh had been sending him feelers on reinstatement as a jathedar.
Family sources have claimed that the minute Sukhbir’s press conference ended, they received calls from the SGPC to vacate the house. “On Sunday, Golden Temple manager Sulakhan Singh visited the house and got the water supply and electricity disconnected,” said Himmat Singh, brother of the former jathedar, who stays at the house.
‘Cannot shift, will lodge police complaint’
Citing the rule book, Gurmukh claimed that the SGPC cannot evict him from the house till his son completes the current academic session, being in Class 12.
“I will lodge a police complaint. I cannot shift with family easily as my father is heart patient and mother is facing an ailment related to the brain. I am still serving under the SGPC as granthi. I am not a goon against which the SGPC is taking the action,” he added.