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Haryana sets up 38-member ad hoc panel to manage gurdwaras; SGPC says interference in Sikh affairs

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Harjinder Singh Dhami termed the move as a “plot to divide the Sikhs”.

khattarHaryana CM Manohar Lal Khatter with members of the Haryana Gurdwara Committee. (Express file photo)

The Haryana government constituted a 38-member ad hoc committee to manage, supervise and take over all assets of gurdwaras in the state, inviting a sharp reaction from the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee which said that government interference and conspiracies will never be accepted in the Sikh affairs.

Terming the Haryana move as a “plot to divide the Sikhs”, SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami said, “The government committee nominated for the management of gurdwaras of Haryana cannot prove to be beneficial for the interests of the community”.

Dhami was reacting to the notification issued by the Haryana government on Thursday.

“In exercise of the powers conferred…by the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Act, 2014…the Governor of Haryana hereby nominates…members of the ad hoc committee to manage, supervise and take over all the assets of the gurdwaras, including moveable and immoveable properties and shall continue to hold such charge to manage the affairs of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee till constitution of the new committee or period of 18 months, whichever is earlier,” read the notification issued by TVSN Prasad, Haryana’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home).

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Among others, the ad hoc committee has sitting HSGMC president Baljit Singh Daduwal, his predecessor Jagdish Singh Jhinda and committee’s former senior vice-president Didar Singh Nalvi as its members.

Dhami said, “The Sikhs of Haryana should understand that on one hand the matter is of the patronage and leadership of Sri Akal Takht Sahib and the mother organisation of Sikhs, the SGPC, for which the community members made sacrifices, and on the other hand, it is the government’s arbitrariness and ill-intention to manage the Sikh institutions by destroying them”.

He appealed to the community members in Haryana to come to Akal Takht to resolve the issue. “Similar intervention was done by the British government during the establishment of the SGPC, but the Sikhs never accepted it. If today we abandon our Panthic traditions and accept government intervention, then the future of the community will never be as per the hopes of the Sikhs,” he added.

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Dhami said that government interference and conspiracies will never be accepted in the Sikh affairs.

“History is a witness that whenever such conspiracies were hatched and committed by the governments of the time, the Sikhs united and countered it and promoted the Panthic ideology,” Dhami added.

The Supreme Court in September had upheld validity of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Act, 2014, paving the way for the formation of HSGMC. The SGPC had challenged the constitutional validity of the law enacted by the then Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in July 2014 ahead of Vidhan Sabha polls. However, the apex court dismissed the plea.

First published on: 02-12-2022 at 22:01 IST
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