The Panthic conventions scheduled at Amritsar and Karnal on Sunday and Monday on the issue of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee were called off following a directive by Akal Takht on Saturday.
Expressing concern over Saharanpur clash, Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh on Saturday issued directions that conventions being held at Amritsar and Karnal be cancelled to prevent any probable clash among the Sikh community. A Panthic convention had been called by ruling SAD in Punjab at Amritsar on Sunday to decide its next course of action in the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) row.
The preparations for the convention were in full swing with senior SAD leader and Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema on Saturday reaching at the Manji Sahib Hall in Golden Temple, the venue of the convention, to oversee the arrangements when the directive from Akal Takht came.
Following the direction from Akal Takht, we have cancelled the Panthic convention, Cheema said.
On the other hand, Sikh leaders in Haryana had called a Panthic conference in Karnal on July 28. Haryana Sikh leader Jagdish Singh Jhinda, when contacted, told that the Karnal convention had also been called off following the Akal Takht directions.
“Every Sikh appears worried over the state of affairs in community. What happened at Saharanpur today has added to our worry and presented a challenge before the community. At such a time, I feel that any probable clash among the Sikh community be stopped at any cost.
“Being chief sewadar of the community, I order all parties to stop the conventions being held at Amritsar and Karnal,” said Akal Takht chief, adding that efforts would be made to sort out the (HSGPC) row under the ambit of Akal Takht by Sikh clergy and community representatives by discussing it with the concerned parties.
SAD and apex representative body of Sikhs SGPC is opposing the HSGPC and the convention at Amritsar was scheduled after Bhupinder Singh Hooda led Haryana government was firm on its decision to have separate committee to manage gurdwaras in Haryana despite NDA government questioning the Haryana government decision.
Meanwhile, a meeting of SAD core committee was scheduled at Amritsar late in the evening.
Heavy security arrangements had been made by the Amritsar police commissionerate. Around 3000 cops were to be deployed for the convention in and around city. Majority of the hotels in the Amritsar were booked to accommodate those coming to attend the convention. Even the quantity of the langar cooked at Golden Temple was set to be increased significantly in the wake of anticipated heavy rush of people during the convention.