Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) has passed a resolution to demolish and reconstruct a 200-year-old entrance to the historical Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Tarn Taran, which was built during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The work is assigned to Baba Jagtar Singh, who had invited criticism in 2003 for demolishing house of Bebe Nanaki, sister of Guru Nanak Dev, where he lived during his teen age years in Sultanpur Lodhi.
SGPC General Secretary Gurbachan Singh Karmuwala was instrumental in passing the resolution to demolish and reconstruct the entrance. He claimed that oral demand from Sikhs led to this resolution to demolish and reconstruct the building.
“We have taken this decision on the demand of Sikh sangat. The entrance was in bad shape and it had developed cracks. So we decided to demolish it and reconstruct,” Said Karmuwala. “We didn’t get any written demand for demolishing it. We passed this resolution on the basis of an oral demand,” said Karmuwala. The work to demolish and reconstruct the entrance is given to Baba Jagtar Singh. Baba Jagtar Singh had handled many such project in past where he demolished the old historical structures to construct new ones on the instructions of SGPC.
Back in 2015, then SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar had given statement that SGPC would work on maintaining and repairing old buildings. Incumbent president Gobind Singh Longowal said, “I have come to know about this resolution. It has been objected to by many. It is true that it was passed in my presence. But I was not informed about the details. I will inspect if this building is historic. We will reconsider this resolution if needed.”
Bladev Singh Sirsa, former SGPC member, said, “SGPC was formed to take care of Sikh gurdwaras. But this service has been converted into business of construction. The SGPC has demolished many historical Sikh buildings in the past. It serves two purposes. First it promotes construction mafia and second it is also conspiracy against Sikhs to end evidences of their rich history.”