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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Missing Birs: Akal Takht asks SGPC president to sweep a clean Heritage Street as punishment

All the members would also sweep clean the Heritage Street from Saragarhi Sarai to Ghanta Ghar Chowk for the days when Akhand Path will be in continuation.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar | September 19, 2020 11:20:31 am
SGPC, SGPC Office Bearers, Guru Grant Sahib Missing Birs, Akal Takht SahibFormer office bearers of the SGPC at Akal Takht Sahib during the hearing, in Amritsar on Friday. Express Photo by Rana Simranjit Singh

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal was Friday asked to clean the Heritage Street leading to Golden Temple as part of punishment pronounced by the Akal Takht for failing to detect the irregularities that led to 328 Birs of Guru Granth Sahib going missing.

The members of the incumbent SGPC interim committee and that of the executive committee in 2016 were summoned at Akal Takht where religious sentences were pronounced by acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh at a public hearing over the failure of both teams in detecting the irregularities and taking appropriate action.

Rajinder Singh Mehta resigned from the post of SGPC senior vice president in compliance with the Akal Takht order soon after the hearing concluded.

In a first, all the accused were given an opportunity to counter the allegations against them. However, none of them argued. The accused were grilled and Jathedar asked them to remain standing while the punishment was pronounced.

It is the second time when Longowal has been sentenced by the Akal Takht. A religious sentence was pronounced against him in 2017 after he was accused of seeking votes from Dera Sacha Sauda during Assembly elections in violation of the Akal Takht edict.

The entire interim committee, including Longowal, will conduct an Akhand Path at Sri Ramsar Sahib. All the members would also sweep clean the Heritage Street from Saragarhi Sarai to Ghanta Ghar Chowk for the days when Akhand Path will be in continuation.

While imposing religious punishment on the members of the 2016 executive committee, the Akal Takht and asked them to not claim any important post in SGPC for next one year. They have also been ordered to recite Guru Granth Sahib.

Former SGPC employee Kanwaljit Singh had alleged that SGPC covered up a fire at publication department in 2016 and didn’t disclose the actual number of Birs that got burnt fearing political backlash. Akal Takht order probe into allegations and found that 328 Birs were missing.

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