AMRITSAR SAHIB, Punjab—Earlier on March 6, police manhandled and forced activists out of their camp near Sri Darbar Sahib. A hunger protest was launched by the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and other social activist groups against imposition of GST (Goods and Services Tax) on Darbar Sahib. Congress MP from Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujla was also roughed up.
Trinamool Congress’ Punjab president Manjit Singh said that the hunger strike will continue until the Union Government accepts their demand of removing GST imposition from religious place that serve free food to the needy.
“We will continue our struggle until our demand is met,” he said after being manhandled. The protest had grown significantly after it was disturbed by the police cops. Various social and human rights groups had joined the camp.
Guru Ram Das Langar, the world’s largest free community kitchen situated in Sri Harmandir Sahib complex, is also being charged more than 100,000 rupees daily as GST by the Indian government. Averagely, the SGPC is paying more than one rupees to the Indian government as tax for offering free food to a devotee in Guru Ram Dass Langar.
As per the details shared by the SGPC with Sikh24, the SGPC has paid more than twenty million rupees as Goods & Services Tax on Guru Ram Das Langar since the imposition of same in July last year. SGPC President Gobind Singh Longowal did not comment on the protest. He said the SGPC would look into the main organizers and offer support.
It is pertinent to note here that the SGPC has been making repeated requests to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for exempting the sacred Sikh shrines from GST but they aren’t accepting it. Without making this exemption, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently tried to astray common masses by saying that the GST on Sikh shrines was waived off. Taking strong notice it, the SGPC President S. Gobind Singh Longowal had slammed the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for preaching false information among common masses.Sikh24 Editors can be reached at email@example.com