In a fresh directive, the Akal Takht on Sunday restrained the newly-elected office bearers of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) from functioning. The order came a day after Jagdish Singh Jhinda and Didar Singh Nalwi were elected president and senior vice-president respectively of the 11-member executive body of the HSGPC.
The Akal Takht ordered that the management of gurdwaras in Haryana should be run according to the earlier arrangement, meaning that the Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) should continue to manage them.
On Saturday, Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh ordered the two sides to call off their conventions in Amritsar and Karnal.
“I am satisfied that both the groups have called off the conventions in the wake of Akal Takht order. To ensure that the initiatives begun by Akal Takht fructify, I order that there should be no arguments till the issue is resolved. The administration of Haryana gurdwaras should be allowed to run in the same manner as earlier,” said the Akal Takht on Sunday.
Terming the Akal Takht order as “one-sided”, Jhinda said, “We obeyed the Akal Takht order to cancel the convention at Karnal since the order came in the wake of tragedy at Saharanpur where the Sikh community was targeted. But today’s order smacks of bias. We have been made a party and this is one-sided order against us,” Jhinda told The Indian Express.
Jhinda said while the Akal Takht had earlier excommunicated him, Nalwi and Haryana Finance Minister Harmohinder Singh Chatha, a new order had been issued even as the matter was “still pending”. On July 16, the Akal Takht had excommunicated the trio on charges of defying its directives by forming a separate HSGPC.
“We will discuss the issue in our executive committee meeting,” said Jhinda. “HSGPC has been set up in the same legal manner as the SGPC and DSGMC were formed,” he added.
Dal Khalsa, the radical Sikh organisation, also questioned the Akal Takht order. Asking the Akal Takht chief “to first withdraw the unprincipled edict excommunicating three Sikhs of Haryana,” Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said only then would he be entitled to issue directions to them.
“By directing the SAD to call off their conclave, Giani Gurbachan Singh has provided them an escape route. It is strange and ironic that the Jathedar is issuing directions to the HSGPC leaders who he had excommunicated from the Sikh Panth a few days back,” said Kanwar Pal.
He urged the Jathedar “to play the role of an elderly person of the community to resolve the crisis, and not act in a biased manner”.
Kanwar Pal alleged, “The Badals have been exploiting Sikh sentiments and the Jathedar has become subservient to them. We all know that the Badals have scant respect for the Akal Takht, its principles, tenets and traditions.”