Sukhbir Badal Orders Removal of Pingalwara Stall From Darbar Sahib

AMRITSAR SAHIB—The SGPC and the All India Pingalwara Charitable Society today came face-to-face after the former removed the latter’s stall located near the main entrance of the Golden Temple. Pingalwara chairperson Inderjit Kaur has launched a sit-in near the holy shrine.

For the past many decades, the stall was being used to promote philanthropic activities of the society among devotees visiting the holy shrine.
The SGPC move came after Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal issued orders for the stall’s removal during his visit to the holy shrine a couple of days ago. As soon as the word about the stall’s removal spread, Inderjit Kaur reached the spot along with her associates and started performing a “path” as a mark of protest against the SGPC move.

All of them sat on ground near the “jora ghar” (shoe keeping facility) with Pingalwara literature placed around them. They also put up a banner stating that the Pingalwara’s stall should be allowed to remain at its original position.

She said they would continue their struggle round-the-clock until the stall was restored at its original position. She said the SGPC resorted to the move despite their writing a letter to Chief Minister Parkash Badal, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and the Darbar Sahib Management Committee, urging them not to do so. Some other organisations have also come out in the support of Pingalwara authorities.

Pingalwara’s Chief Administrator Col Darshan Singh Bawa alleged the SGPC forcibly removed their stall, thus “perpetrating sacrilege of religious literature”. He said they had put up the stall with the SGPC’s consent but they removed it without allocating an alternative space to them. He said they had been promoting their activities through this stall since 1957. He said the place held great significance for them as Bhagat Puran Singh used to sit there.

“We’ve old and emotional ties with the holy shrine. Besides, the stall helps us get monetary aid from thousands of devotees visiting the shrine daily. The SGPC itself gives Rs 10 lakh annually from its budget to Pingalwara for humanitarian work” he said. Former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra had also removed their stall once, but restored it later on, he added.

Darbar Sahib manager Partap Singh said they had removed the stall as it was on the way to the holy shrine and the devotees were facing inconvenience.



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