AMRITSAR SAHIB, Punjab—Giani Harpreet Singh, the SGPC-appointed acting jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, has asked Ripudaman Singh Malik and Balwant Singh Pandher to disclose the source of the pen drive that was used for printing of the Guru Granth Sahib’s saroops in Surrey, Canada.
Under the banner of Satnam Parchar Religious Society, more than 60 holy saroops were printed in Canada. Some persons tried to misuse the situation by blaming Ripudaman Singh Malik and Balwant Singh Pandher for printing the saroops without Raagmala and the issue was taken to Akal Takht Sahib. However, it has now been confirmed that saroops were printed based on the official source used by SGPC and no alterations were made.
Notable the management committee of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Surrey-Delta has received the printed saroops, printing machines and other kinds of printing-related items including the pen drive. After confirming that saroops match the SGPC versions, Giani Harpreet Singh gave Malik and Pandher 15 days to give information regarding the sources of the pen drive.
Though Ripudaman Singh Malik has not disclosed yet anything about the source of pen drive, he had visited several prominent SGPC personalities during his recent visit to Punjab. “The SGPC senior vice president Rajinder Singh Mehta and Roop Singh who has now resigned as the chief secretary, had visited Surrey in past. Their proximity with Malik is no secret”, said Gurpreet Singh Sahota, a Surrey-based Punjabi journalist in a Facebook post shared after the Akal Takht Sahib issued a press note in this regard.
He added taking a jibe at former SGPC officials, “First of all, both these persons must be asked if they gave this pen drive to Malik. Also, if they have any clue about who from the SGPC gave this pen drive to him.”
The SGPC is already facing wrath in the case of missing 328 saroops and now, it is set to be in a new row.
On August 24, the highest Sikh temporal seat ordered Malik and Pandher to send their clarification in a month.
Ripudaman Singh Malik runs Khalsa schools in Canada and was acquitted in 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing by the Canadian judiciary in 2005. He visited India in December last year after the gap of 25 years after India scrapped the blacklist partially.
The SGPC officials had visited Surrey multiple times, including under the presidency of Avtar Singh Makkar and Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar to assist with the setup of the printing press. Satnam Trust claims that they had permission from the SGPC to print the saroops, however, the opposition claims that permission was never finalized.