March 5, 2019 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Patna Sahib, Bihar: In yet another twist in the issue, the management board of Takht Sri Harmandir, Patna Sahib today decided to accept the resignation of Giani Iqbal Singh as “Jathedar”. The decision was taken during the meeting of the board held today. The meeting was attended by ten members, who formed the majority of the board.
Those who attended today’s board meeting included the board president Avtar Singh Hit and board members- Gobind Singh Longowal, Inderjeet Singh, Surinder Singh, Kumikkar Singh, Raja Singh, Lakhbir Singh, Tarlochan Singh, Harbans Singh and Jagjeet Singh Sohi. Five members, including the board General Secretary Mohinder Singh Dhillon, who favour Giani Iqbal Singh did not attend the meeting.
The board members took the decision to accept the resignation of Giani Iqbal Singh after SGPC appointed Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh issued a directive asking the board to accept the same.
In a directive issued yesterday (copy available with Sikh Siyasat News), Giani Harpreet Singh said that majority of members of management board of Takht Sri Harmandir Patna Sahib, some Gurdwara management committees, Sikh organisations and many from the Sikh sangat had lodged telephonic and written complaints with the Akal Takht Sahib against Giani Iqbal Singh.
He said that a high level probe committee was appointed to hold an inquiry into the matter and the said committee submitted its report on March 4, 2019 and informed that Giani Iqbal Singh had tendered his resignation before meeting the probe panel and confirmed this move to the members of the probe panel.
Saying that the prestige of Takht Sahib was above the honour of any individual, Giani Harpeet Singh issued directions to the management board to accept Giani Iqbal Singh’s resignation.
Giani Iqbal Singh had taken U-Turn After Resignation:
Notably, hours after submitting his resignation to Takht Sri Harmandir Patna Sahib Board’s General Secretary on March 3, Giani Iqbal Singh had taken U-turn. He had said that he was told to withdraw the resignation by the Sikh sangat. Later board’s general secretary too issued a letter “cancelling” Giani Iqbal Singh resignation.
It seems that tendering of the resignation and its later withdrawal was a pre-planned move by Giani Iqbal Singh to avoid any meaningful probe of allegations against him. He had submitted resignation before meeting the probe panel. On meeting the probe panel he said that he has already resigned and after that he said that the Sangat has made him to withdraw the resignation.
It is notable that a large section of the active global Sikh community had rejected Giani Iqbal Singh along with other Giani Gurbachan Singh and other Jathedars back in September 2015 when they had granted so-called pardon to Dera Sauda Sirsa (DSS) chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
Despite being disgraced by the Sikhs, Giani Iqbal Singh continued to hold his post for past 3 years. But now with the change in management committee of Takht Patna Sahib there was shift in power dynamics and the new committee was in favour of removing Giani Iqbal Singh.