The Tribune – Dera Row: SGPC to form probe panel

DSGMC wants action against Sikh leaders

GS Paul, Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 5 February 2017. A day after the Akal Takht announced to initiate action against the Sikh leaders who recently sought the support of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda for the Punjab elections, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) declared that it would form a committee to probe the matter.

SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar said, “As soon as we receive the official communication from the Akal Takht, we will set up a panel to identify the leaders who attended the dera congregation and ascertain their purpose of going there. As per the Akal Takht Jathedar’s directions, action would be taken on the basis of the probe report.”

Meanwhile, the SAD-backed Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has submitted a complaint with Akal Takht, seeking stern action as per Panthic maryada against the “erring” leaders. “A copy of the complaint has been sent to the SGPC,” said DSGMC chief Manjit Singh GK.

The Akal Takht Jathedar maintained that the 2007 ‘hukumnama’ against dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was intact, while ruling out the resumption of the sect’s ‘satsang’.

In the run-up to the Assembly elections, SAD leaders of nine constituencies of Bathinda and Mansa had attended a meeting of the dera’s religious wing.

Dal Khalsa chief H S Cheema and spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said, “For 72 hours, Giani Gurbachan Singh kept quiet. The moment voting was over, he made an announcement for a probe. This is nothing but an eyewash.”

They observed that the Sikh electorate had already given its verdict against the Akalis for their wrongdoings, including hobnobbing with the Sirsa dera.