Perneet Singh, Tribune News Service
Amritsar, March 2. Following a clash between their supporters at Gurdwara Bala Sahib in New Delhi today, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna traded charges and blamed each other’s outfit for sparking violence.
Addressing mediapersons at the SGPC headquarters here, Makkar alleged that the DSGMC along with a private firm was performing “bhoomi pujan” for a hospital building on the gurdwara premises, which was against the Sikh tenets. “The Sikh Sangat came to know about their move and gathered at the venue to protest against it. However, Sarna’s supporters, who were armed with kirpans, pelted them with the stones, which sparked off violence,” he said.
Makkar denied Sarna’s allegations that the SAD supporters triggered violence by pelting stones and bottles. “Our supporters reached the spot at a later stage and, moreover, they were not allowed by the police to enter the venue,” he claimed.
He said the DSGMC could have waited for starting the work on the hospital till the completion of the DSGMC poll process.
Asked whether he would approach the Akal Takht over the issue, he said the Jathedar should himself take notice of the violation of “maryada” by the DSGMC. He claimed that an Akhand Path underway at the venue was also stopped abruptly, which was again a breach of “maryada”.
On the other hand, Sarna accused SAD leaders of creating ruckus at the inaugural ceremony of its multi-specialty hospital. He said, “The SAD leaders along with their supporters reached the venue and resorted to an attack with soda bottles and stones.”
He claimed the Sikh Sangat came out against their “violent act” while the police lobbed tear gas shells, forcing the SAD supporters to run away.
Sarna blamed Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal for the incident. He said there was no “bhoomi pujan” at the venue as alleged by Makkar and instead it was inaugural ceremony of the health services at the hospital. He claimed the SAD leaders had put up ads in Delhi claiming that they will present documents regarding “the sale of Gurdwara Bala Sahib’s land to a private firm” before the Delhi police within 48 hours or else resign from their posts.
“However, it had been 60 hours since then but they neither produced the documents nor quit their posts,” he said.
Sarna was here to review the progress of a 92-room “sarai” (inn) being built by the DSGMC for facilitating pilgrims visiting the holy city.
SGPC chief objects to Haryana minister’s remark on Badal
SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar has objected to a Haryana minister’s remark in the state Assembly in which he reportedly dubbed a SGPC-run medical college in the neighbouring state as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s property. Makkar said they would prove the minister wrong. He said a trust had been formed to run the hospital, which had 12 members, including Badal. The remaining members include three from Haryana and five doctors.