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SGPC backs Jathedars’ move to grant pardon to Dera chief; Taksal, UAD call for meetings

September 26, 2015 | By

Amrtisar: On the other hand Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committeee (SGPC), which is controlled by Punjab’s ruling party Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has backed the controversial of Jatehdars to pardon Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for his blasphemous act of impersonating Guru Gobind Singh. Supporting Jathedars’ decision SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said, “The Akal Takht is supreme and we always accept the decisions taken by it. I also urge the Sikh community to accept it.”
Terming it as a “serious situation in the Sikh panth” the Sant Samaj led by Damdami Taksal (Mehta) chief Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma has called a crucial meeting in Ludhiana on September 28 to discuss the issue. Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma said they would deliberate on the issue in their meeting at Gurdwara Gur Gyan Parkash near Ludhiana on Monday.  He said that the proper procedure was not adopted to grant pardon to the dera chief, which has created a “serious situation in the community”.
He said that no Sikh organisation was taken in the confidence while deciding on the issue which has led to confusion among the Sikh Sangat.
[File Photo]

[File Photo]

Another Sikh body United Akali Dal has also called a meeting of Sikh organisations over the issue at Amritsar on Sunday.
There is also a sentiment in the Sikh circles that SAD (Badal)’s political considerations have acted as a trigger for Jathedars’ decision.
Former Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti said, “The dera chief has offered no apology or regret. On the contrary, he is denying the charge. If he didn’t do anything, then why was the edict issued against his dera?”  He recalled that in 2007 too, he had not apologised for it. He said any decision in this regard should have been taken by taking Sikh organisations and intellectuals into confidence.
The American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) questioned the acceptance of the “so-called apology” of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda in a hush-hush manner by the Akal Takht.
The AGPC also stated that so many lives were lost over the issue and now, he has been granted pardon despite him not tendering an apology.  He asked who would answer those families who lost their loved ones while protesting against the “misdeeds” of the dera chief.
Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) general secretary Gopal Singh Chawla also flayed the decision while stating that the Sikh clergy first “tried to finish off the distinct identity of Sikhs” by making changes in the Nanakshahi calendar and now they’ve resorted to another blunder by pardoning the dera chief.
SGPC member Bibi Kiranjot Kaur said that scores of Sikhs lost their lives or were booked in police cases in the aftermath of the controversial act in 2007 while asking as to who was responsible for the loss of those families. She said, “It is surprising that the Sikh clergy has pardoned an individual who has never sought an apology.
Moreover, the edict of 2007 which calls for social boycott of the dera can neither be changed nor amended. How can they undo it in a clandestine manner? These five men have no authority to change or amend the edict the way they have done.”
Dal Khalsa, AISSF (Peer Mohammad), Sikh Students Federation (Mehta faction), Sikh Youth Federation Bhindranwale and various other Sikh organizations have also opposed Jathedars’ decision stating that the decision was taken against panthic consensus.

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