HAYES, UK—A Sikh family living here has been fighting a legal battle for some years to get back a palki and volumes of Sri Guru Granth Sahib seized by an administration company from its TV studio. During the past years, a recovery company (KPMG) took away a golden palki, an 18th century volume and two other printed volumes from the HDS TV Studio in Hayes in connection with a case related to payments. H.S. Bhabra asked the above-mentioned company to return them but the company did not do this.
H.S. Bhabra says that he wrote a letter Mr F. O’Connell, an officer of the company, on 10 September 2007, but the matter has not been resolved in spite of that. It is worth mentioning that Hardial Singh Bhabra of HDS TV studio is an expert palki maker, and the palkis made by him grace many Sikh temples. When his TV company failed and had to be closed by its owners, Mr F. O’Connell’s company (KPMG) took away this golden palki along with the historical volumes from the studio. Mr Hardial Singh Bhabra says that he told the said company that the palki and the three volumes were not the property of the company, they were respectable not only for their family but for the whole Sikh community as well. Efforts have been made since then to recover them. It has been ten years since then, but the KPMG company has not given any information about them. The family says that they approached a political party as well, but even they have not co-operated.
Mr Gurmel Singh Kandola, general secretary of the Sikh Council UK, said that these things have great significance for them and are venerable, and they want this problem resolved soon. Additionally, the Ramgarhia Council UK and the Ramgarhia Sabha Derby have appealed to the said company that Mr Hardial Singh Bhabra’s personal things should be returned to him; they are a historical treasure of the Sikh community. Similarly, other Sikh organisations of UK, such as Mr Raghbir Singh leader of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha UK, Mr Rajinder Singh Purewal of the Derby Sikh Museum, Bhai Amrik Singh Gill of Sikh Federation UK, Mr Balwinder Singh Nannua President of the Khalsa International Welfare Society, and Bhai Malkit Singh of Sikh Sewak Society International, are fully co-operating with Mr Hardial Singh. They have also appealed to the said company that the three volumes and the palki belonging to Mr Hardial Singh Bhabra be returned.
Various Sikh temples and organisations wrote letters regarding this in 2012, but still the Sikh community has not got these things back.
Following the letter written by Sri Dashmesh Sikh Temple President Mr S.S. Sagoo and the General Secretary Mr Harcharan Singh Bhopal, separate letters were written by Mr Piara Singh Bhogal of Sikh Council Sikh Temple Birmingham; the Sikh Temple Trust Nottingham President Mr Jaswinder Singh Bassi; the Ramgarhia Southall President Dr Shaminder Singh Marvey; Mr Patwant Singh Suri, Mr Jaswant Singh Vohra and Mr Gurbakhash Singh Birdi of Ramgarhia Sabha Nottingham; Mr Inder Singh Ghataura of Ramgarhia Sikh Temple Slough; the Ramgarhia Board Leeds Vice-President Mr Gurdev Singh Saggoo; and the Sikh Missionary Society General Secretary Mr Teja Singh Mangat. They requested H.S. Bhabra for the location of these significant things and the volumes of Sri Guru Granth Sahib should be launched and they should be told where these things are.
The letters say that a non-Sikh does not know how a volume of Sri Guru Granth Sahib should be kept respectfully, so it should be given back to the Sikhs. The palki is also an important thing for the Sikhs. In spite of the repeatedly sent letters, the company is not offering any solution. The Sikh leaders have expressed a concern regarding how these volumes may have been kept and looked after, and whether the Sikh community will get them back at all. So the Sikh leaders have also said that if the company still does not listen, they will hold a huge demonstration before the office of the company.