In new Punjab crisis, Panj Pyaras hit back, order sacking of high priests

On Wednesday, the SGPC said the decision of the Panj Pyaras was “against traditions of the Akal Takht and service rules” and “aimed at causing conflict and division” in the community.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal , Anju Agnihotri Chaba , Divya Goyal | Chandigarh/ Jalandhar/ Ludhiana | Updated: October 24, 2015 2:15 pm
Panj Pyaras, Dera Sacha Sauda rape case, guru Granth Sahib, Fardikot village, desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, Panj Pyaras, Panj Pyaras suspended by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, religious books, religious clashes, protest, sikh protest, punjab sikh protest, Chandigarh news, punjab news, haryana news, india news, nation news, news The Panj Payaras at the Akal Takht. (Express Photo by: Rana Simranjit Singh)

Grappling with protests over the alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib, Punjab stared at another crisis Friday as the Panj Pyaras (the beloved five of the Guru), suspended by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, struck back and directed the SGPC to “terminate all kinds of services” of five Sikh high priests for ignoring “summons” to explain their flip-flop on the pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

The Panj Pyaras passed a gurmatta (resolution) after waiting in vain Friday at the Akal Takht. None of the summoned high priests showed up to explain their decision to pardon the Dera chief for his act of imitating Guru Gobind Singh in 2007. Following an outcry, the pardon was revoked.

It “reached a flashpoint when they went on to take decisions which further humiliated the Sikhs… they failed to represent the Sikh community… the community is seeking their resignations,” the resolution stated, directing the SGPC executive committee to “terminate all kinds of services of chiefs of all five Takhts of the Sikhs”.

Watch Video – Punjab Crisis Deepens As Panj Pyaras Hit Back : An Analysis

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On Wednesday, hours after the high priests were summoned, the SGPC said the decision of the Panj Pyaras was “against traditions of the Akal Takht and service rules” and “aimed at causing conflict and division” in the community.

Announcing their suspension, the SGPC directed three Panj Pyaras to move to the Sikh mission in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh and two to the Sikh mission in Kurukshetra, Haryana.

Satnam Singh, one of the Panj Pyaras, said: “We are not going anywhere as the decision of our suspension is not valid. We are in front of the Guru Granth Sahib and Guru Panth, so no service rules apply to us. No authority can suspend us. We do not consider ourselves suspended.”

On Friday, protests over the alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib took up the case of two brothers arrested by police and sought the reinstatement of the Panj Pyaras.

In Phagwara, protesters made a 500m-long human chain on National Highway-1 and were joined by BSP activists. In Hoshiarpur, a protest march was led by Baba Sewa Singh, considered close to Chief Minister Parkas Singh Badal. In Gurdaspur’s Kahnuwan area, protesters surrounded the house of SAD leader and former minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan.

The districts of Faridkot, Barnala, Sangrur and Ferozepur too reported several protests while Ludhiana and Moga remained relatively quiet. In Moga, the main chowk was blocked for three hours.

In Kapurthala, police booked 40 protesters and arrested 16 following an attack on two vehicles of SAD leaders Bibi Jagir Kaur, Bibi Opinderjit Kaur, Jarnail Singh Wahid and Sarambit Singh Makkar. Among those booked was SAD (Mann) district president Khusropur. The attack took place while SAD leaders were in a gurudwara. Police led them to safety from a rear exit of the gurudwara.

The vehicle of SAD MLA Darshan Singh Kotfatta was vandalised by protesters near Talwandi Sabo and he was stopped from proceeding to Takht Damdama Sahib. Kotfatta was travelling from Bathinda to Talwandi Sabo when protesters blocked his way.

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  1. A
    Ashok Kumar
    Oct 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm
    Take the incident in broader perspective. After 1984, Central Govt establishment at Delhi never pardoned the Sikhs and was always apprehensive of their strength and daring. BJP or the Congress are the two masks the Central establishment wars in order to hoodwink the Sikhs. The present sec- religious act is a gauntlet thrown at the Sikhs in Punjab to respond. The Sikhs are a minority like Muslims and Christians in India. India government headed by Hindus is worst enemy of the minorities, inwardly. For example, did the perpetrators of 1984 riots get any punishment from the judiciary? Did the victims get proper compensation despite Mr Manmohan Singh's personal efforts?
    1. S
      Sardar Nirvair
      Oct 24, 2015 at 2:38 pm
      eay duniya de logo kitni bar guruyo ke aung katto gey , eak ttuch insan de waste mere sahib baba fateh singh Ji de aung na katto , apne siasi masle waste baba Mani singh Ji de aung na katto apne niji mathlab waste mere gurua de aung na katto , my mera sharir denna ha tusi jini bar kattna chaohne ha kattlo my vinaty karda ha tuhade charna de mere gurua de aung na katto . sardar nirvair singh . hyd .
      1. R
        Oct 24, 2015 at 6:55 am
        How about thousands of hindu families that have to flee Punjab because of so called demand for Khalistan. A lot of hindus also suffered in that era.
        1. B
          Oct 24, 2015 at 10:18 pm
          A Hindu will never indulge in disrespect to the Holy Granth Sahib, forget tearing the pages because the Hindus consider Guru granth sahib as holy as Bhagwat Geeta. It is the work of some disgruntled members of the Sikh community on the behest of ISI of stan who are ever ready to foment trouble between Hindu and Sikh communities for their selfish ends. thanks.
          1. D
            Dilbagh Singh
            Oct 24, 2015 at 9:24 am
            Not only Hindus but Sikhs also migrated during that period, many innocents Hindu n Sikhs suffered, be cool n calm, many Hindus visit gurdwaras daily as well as Sikhs visit mandirs. Both communities must support eachother during crises . Let humanity prevails .
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