The anger over sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and the controversial decision to pardon Dera Sacha Sauda reached Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee office in Amritsar as an SGPC staffer threw his resignation letter towards SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, while raising slogans against him.
Ramandeep Singh, a data entry operator in accounts branch of SGPC’s Dharam Parchar Committee, barged into a press conference being addressed by Makkar and while raising anti-Makkar slogans threw his resignation towards Makkar. The SGPC officials overpowered him immediately and whisked him away.
In his resignation, Ramandeep Singh expressed anguish over the SGPC’s “inaction” in the incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib starting from Bargari and its aftermath as well as the Sikh clergy’s decision on exonerating the dera chief and later revoking that. The resignation read, “(Chief Minister) Parkash (Singh) Badal, (deputy CM) Sukhbir Badal, (SGPC president) Avtar Makkar, (Akal Takht chief Giani) Gurbachan Singh and SGPC were responsible for vitiating the atmosphere in Punjab”.
A former SGPC official termed the development as “very serious”. “This shows that there is huge resentment against the President in the SGPC. Never ever has such a thing happened in the past,” the official said, requesting not to be named. Ramandeep Singh joined SGPC a couple of years back. His father also worked for SGPC and retired as superintendent after 28 years of service.
SGPC additional secretary Diljit Singh said Ramandeep had been placed on suspension after the incident. “But, we have not initiated any legal action,” he added.
Makkar was responding to queries relating to Panj Pyaras directing SGPC to sack the chiefs of Sikh Takhts when the incident happened. Makkar said Panj Pyaras had no authority to issue any hukamnana or directions. “There is no provision that Panj Pyaras can issue hukamnama or directions. They took the decision exceeding their domain. Their decision is not valid. The SGPC summarily rejects it,” Makkar said.
He maintained that Panj Pyaras were “suspended” and had no right to convene any meeting. “For further deliberations and actions on the issue, an emergency meeting of the SGPC executive committee has been called at Chandigarh on October 26,” Makkar said. Earlier in the day, the Panj Pyaras, while responding to a query about the call for a Sarbat Khalsa on November 10, said the Panth could convene such a conclave when the Sikh high priests had become “untenable”.