March 21, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar/ Patna Sahib (March 21, 2014): The conflict between Takht Patna Sahib Management Committee and ‘suspended’ Jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh has taken another turn, as the Management Committee on March 20 said they had dismissed Giani Iqbal Singh from the post of Jathedar.
The committee had earlier suspended the Takht Sri Patna Sahib Jathedar after a violent clash in Patna on January 7 over the appointment of additional Jatehdar Giani Partap Singh. It is notable that few days back Giani Iqbal Singh had declared Management Committee members as ‘tankhaiya’.
On the other hand the Akal Takht Jathedar has reportedly awarded clean chit to Giani Iqbal Singh.
Takht Patna Sahib management committee claimed that the dismissal orders were issued on March 17. But, it was disclosed to the media on March 20 when Giani Iqbal Singh participated in the meeting of the Sikh Jatehdars at Amritsar for the first time after his suspension.
According to media reports [t]he committee also issued a copy of his dismissal letter to the media, but it was preceded by a lot of confusion. Initially, the committee released a copy of the missive that it had shot off to the Akal Takht Jathedar, objecting to his move to invite Giani Iqbal Singh to the meeting of the clergy.
In the letter, committee general secretary Charanjit Singh said, “You allowed him to participate in the meeting despite the fact that we had placed him under suspension… Takht Sri Patna Sahib will never accept decisions that are taken with the consent of Giani Iqbal Singh.”
Later, the committee reportedly rang up mediapersons to tell them that they had already dismissed the Jathedar.
“However, the copy of the letter subsequently released to the media mentioned the word ‘suspension’, and not ‘dismissal’, as claimed by the committee. The panel made the correction and then again released the letter”. The Tribune (TT) has noted.
The committee dismissed him after levelling serious allegations against him, besides accusing him of “long absence from Patna Sahib”. However, the letter written to the Akal Takht Jathedar dated March 20 also used the term “suspension”.
When contacted, Giani Iqbal Singh said he was not aware about any dismissal order against him. “Whatever action has been initiated by Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Committee is not legally valid as the panel members have already been booked on attempt to murder charges”, he said.
Meanwhile, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has given a clean chit to Giani Iqbal Singh. Justifying his participation in the meeting, the Akal Takht Jathedar said Giani Iqbal Singh was still serving as the Jathedar of Patna Sahib.