Missing saroops: SGPC puts ball back to Jathedar’s court for punishing guilty staffers

AMRITSAR SAHIB, Punjab—Shirking its responsibility to take legal action against its staffers guilty of misappropriation that led to 328 holy saroops of Guru Granth Sahib missing from its publishing house, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today put the ball back in the court of Giani Harpreet Singh, SGPC-appointed acting jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, for taking action against the guilty staffers.

By conducting a meeting of its Dharam Parchar Committee at its sub-office here, the SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal made an appeal to the Jathedar to award exemplary punishments to the employees and officials indicted in the report of the inquiry conducted by Advocate Ishar Singh-led panel constituted by the Takht Sahib.

Prior to this, the Jathedar directed the gurdwara body to punish its staffers according to the recommendations of the inquiry report.

In its August 27 meeting, the executive committee of the SGPC resolved to file criminal cases against its six staffers dismissed for playing a role in the misappropriation in this case. A week after, however, it made a U-turn by deciding to take action against them within the organization as per the Panthik traditions. It cited that the criminal cases would pave the way for external interference into its internal matter.

Its U-turn angered the Sikh organizations. Against its move, the indefinite morcha by the Sikh bodies is continuing outside Teja Singh Samundri Hall, the head office of the SGPC, for the last month. This morcha is proving to be a big headache for the gurdwara body which is controlled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

Keeping in view of this, the SGPC president has played another card to come out of this fix by getting the resolution passed in the meeting of the Dharam Parchar Committee.

Apart from making the appeal to the Jathedar, the resolution also urges him and Sri Darbar Sahib head granthi Giani Jagtar Singh to issue an edict to make the complex of the supreme Sikh shrine free from any agitation and demonstration. This is an attempt made to ensure that the morcha is lifted, though it is out of the complex.

The resolution reads, “Sachkhand Sri Darbar Sahib is the source of spirituality in the world, where ardas is done for the well being of all. So, this is not a place of staging dharnas or demonstrations. Keeping in view of the sentiments of the Sikhs, we appeal to you to issue an edict against this practice.”

Longowal also said that the centenary of Saka Nankana Sahib will be marked on a large scale on February 21 next year. He said 750th birth anniversary of Bhagat Namdev Jee will be celebrated on November 25 this year and 350th birth anniversary of Baba Banda Singh Bahadar will be celebrated on October 18 at Baba Banda Singh Bahadar Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib.


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