(October 21, 2013)—Ajai Singh, son of former appointed jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Puran Singh, has been reportedly sentenced to 90 days in prison for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in Canada.

According to reports, Ajai Singh, 38, who was on a visit to Canada, has been convicted of sexual assault and sexual interference with an Abbotsford girl on Friday and would have to serve 90 days in jail.

Additional secretary, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Diljeet Singh Bedi told TOI that Ajai Singh was a raagi (hymn singer) with the SGPC and was on leave. “SGPC had suspended him in February 2013 after we received reports of Ajai Singh’s involvement in a sexual assault case,” said Bedi, adding that they were yet to receive a copy of the judgment by the Abbotsford court and only after that would the SGPC contemplate taking further actions against Ajai Singh.

Singh had gone to Canada to perform Kirtan at various gurdwaras and was on leave from the SGPC. His father, the first appointed jathedar of Akal Takht Giani Puran Singh had himself remained controversial during his tenure at Akal Takht.

Giani Puran Singh was appointed after the SGPC had illegally bypassed the Panthik body of Sarbat Khalsa and removed the Panthikly elected Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh. He had excommunicated former president of SGPC Bibi Jagir Kaur for violating the directives of Akal Takht on the Sikhs’ own Nanakshahi Calendar through an edict issued on January 25, 2000 from Guna in Madhya Pardesh. It has also been widely reported that Giani Puran Singh has links to the RSS and has previously claimed that “the Sikhs are descendants of Luv and Kush.”

On March 28, 2000, the SGPC’s executive body had sacked Giani Puran Singh as jathedar of Akal Takht, also a controversial action that should be taken only by Sarbat Khalsa.