The Tribune – Mixed response to SGPC stand

Neeraj Bagga, Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 1 October 2017. The SGPC’s decision that its president Kirpal Singh Badungar will not appear before a government-appointed commission probing sacrilege cases has evoked a mixed response.

United Akali Dal (UAD) president Bhai Mohkam Singh said the SGPC move would help those involved in desecration go scot-free. He said the stand proved that the then SAD-BJP government had allegedly played a role in such incidents.

He said most of the desecration cases had occurred in 2015 and 2016 and the Akali government had remained in power for nearly a year and a half since then. He also accused the the government of implicating those Sikhs in false cases who had been searching for culprits.

Former SGPC secretary Manjit Singh Calcutta said the Akal Takht Jathedar never appeared before any court or commission.

However, the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission had summoned only the SGPC president and sought record of the Akal Takht. He said the SGPC was constituted after the promulgation of an Act and its president could appear in a court, adding that its former presidents had done so in the past.

Meanwhile, Jathedars of three Takhts, including Akal Takht, and other Sikh religious institutions, endorsed the SGPC’s decision.

Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said the Akal Takht was the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs and an independent institute whose record could not be shared.

Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, Damdami Taksal head Giani Harnam Singh Dhumma, Nihang organisations head Baba Balbir Singh, too, supported the SGPC’s decision.

Dhumma accused the Congress government of hatching a conspiracy to interfere in the affairs of the Sikh community.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) backed the SGPC’s decision to reject the commission. “This (setting up the commission) is a conspiracy hatched by the Congress to weaken top Sikh institutions. We warn the commission to desist from interfering in the affairs of these institutions,” the DSGMC said.

Advertisements – Hawara and Lahoria beaten badly by jailers

Sikh24 Editors

New Dehi-India, 24 September 2017. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has demanded a CBI probe into an attack on Sikh detainees, Jathedar Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara and Bhai Daya Singh Lahoria in Tihar Jail.

The Sikh political prisoners were brutally thrashed by jail staffers and others some days ago. It is reported that the CCTV cameras of that area of the jail were switched off during that exact period of time.

Speaking with Sikh24, DSGMC’s legal advisor, Jaswinder Singh Jolly said that the DSGMC President Manjit Singh has written a letter to the CBI Director in this concern.

Labelling the incident as a violation of the jail code, as well as human rights, Jolly said that the minorities were being targeted in the jail deliberately and even records have proven that in Tihar jail, the victims of most incidents were from minorities.

The Tribune – President asked to resolve Sikkim gurdwara row

New Delhi, 9 September 2017. Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa has sought the intervention of President Ram Nath Kovind to save the gurdwaras in Sikkim.

Sirsa, who met the President today, said Gurdwara Gurudongmar Sahib and Gurdwara Chungthang Sahib, both associated with Guru Nanak, were under threat as the Chungthang SDM had ordered verification of claims of encroachment and illegal construction.

He told Kovind that “saroop” of Guru Granth Sahib had been shifted from Gurdwara Gurudongmar Sahib by the administration. These incidents have hurt sentiments of Sikhs, said Sirsa, also an Akali MLA from Delhi. (TNS)

The Tribune – DSGMC meets Rajnath on Sikkim Gurdwara row

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, 2 September 2017. A delegation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over a host of issues, including the threat of demolition of gurdwaras in Sikkim, imposition of GST on items for langar and ban on Sikh students wearing “kara” in competitive exams.

The leaders, including DSGMC chief Manjit Singh GK, general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa, former MP Tarlochan Singh, Akali Dal leader Kuldeep Singh Bhogal and former chairperson of Dharam Parchar Committee of DSGMC Paramjeet Singh Rana, sought Rajnath’s intervention.

They said the possible demolition/renovation of Gurdwara Gurudongmar Sahib and Gurdwara Chungthang Sahib by the authorities in Sikkim was hurting Sikh sentiments.

The DSGMC chief, who also wrote to PM Narendra Modi yesterday, disapproved of the Sikkim Government’s decision.

Sirsa said a DSGMC delegation would meet Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling tomorrow.

Sikh – Supreme Court issues notice to the Indian Government regarding killing of 127 Kanpur Sikhs

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi, 3 August 2017. Acting on a petition moved by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), the Supreme Court of India today issued notice to the BJP led Union government of India and Uttar Pradesh’s State Government in a case pertaining to killing of 127 Sikhs during the Sikh genocide in November, 1984.

It is notable here that thousands of innocent Sikhs were brutally massacred in all over India by Hindu mobs in November 1984 after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

In a press note shared with Sikh24, the DSGMC has informed that a three member Supreme Court’s bench headed by Justice Deepak Mishra, Justice Amitava Roy and Justice A.M Khanwilkar is hearing the case.

It has been further informed in the press note that more than 2800 criminal FIRs were registered by the UP police in November, 1984 but most of them were closed by the police itself.

DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK has informed that the DSGMC and Genocide Victims Relief Committee had sought reopening and reinvestigation of FIRs registered in police stations of Bajrian and Nazirabad by moving petition in the Supreme Court.

He further informed that the Indian Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and UP’s Chief Minister sent requests about the slow processing of UP police but the nil response from them compelled the DSGMC to move the Supreme Court.

GK has said that it was very unfortunate that the innocent Sikhs were begging for justice in the largest democratic country of the world even after 33 years of becoming victims of genocide.

He added that the victim Sikhs were fully innocent when they were subjected to communal massacre by the Hindu mobs in November, 1984 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The Tribune – DSGMC advice to Sikh pupils for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)

New Delhi, 6 May 2017. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has appealed to Sikh students appearing for NEET examinations tomorrow to not remove symbols of their faith. The five ‘kakaars’ in Sikhism are kesh, kara, kachhera, kirpan and kanga.

This appeal has been issued by the committee in view of difficulties faced by students who appeared in the JEE recently. On a whatsApp message committee chief Manjit Singh GK said, “I urge Sikh students to inform police by dialling 100 if they are debarred from the exam for wearing kara and kirpan or they are forced to remove them.

They should insist that the head examiner give in writing reasons for not allowing them to do so.” (TNS) – Jathedar Nandgarh appeals Sikh masses to oust Badal affiliated candidates from DSGMC

Sikh24 Editors

Bathinda, Panjab, 15 February 2017. Former Jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh has appealed the Delhi based Sikh masses to oust Badal affiliated candidates in DSGMC.

“All Sikhs should unite to defeat Badals in the elections as they have openly violated the Sikh tenets by attending worship meeting of Shivling,” Giani Nandgarh told Sikh24 on February 15.

Launching attack on DSGMC (Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee) residing General Secretary Manjinder Sirsa, Giani Nandgarh said that Sirsa didn’t utter even a single word against the occurrence of sacrilege incidents across Punjab while he was appointed as an OSD (Officer on Special Duty) of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal at that time.

Jathedar Nandgarh appealed the Delhi Sikh voters to vote for a candidate committed to Sikh faith.

Elections for DSGMC are scheduled to take place on February 26. With 4 parties contesting the elections, there are over 400 candidates who have filed for candidacy papers.

A picture of Sirsa had surfaced online two weeks ago on social media. While the picture dates October 2016, it came to the fore again as Manjinder Sirsa is contesting the elections for management of Delhi Gurdwaras. Sikhs have questioned how they can give control of their Gurdwaras to Sirsa who follows other faiths.

The Tribune – DSGMC Polls: State leaders ready for another battle

Ruchika M Khanna, Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, 15 February 2017. With elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) scheduled for February 28, the three main political parties, the Shiromani Akali Dal, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, will be putting their might behind different factions trying to take control of the Sikh body in Delhi.

The issues being raised by the three factions in fray supported by these parties as well as a fourth faction headed by former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh and Hazoori Ragi of Harmandr Sahib Baldev Singh Wadala, are almost an echo of the issues raised in Punjab elections.

The desecration of holy books, the support sought from religious deras (against the tenets of Sikhism) and drug taint on certain leaders of the SAD are being played out against them by SAD (Delhi) led by Paramjit Singh Sarna and Panthic Sewa Dal led by AAP Kalkaji MLA Avtar Singh.

On the other hand, the SAD group led by Manjit Singh GK, who incidentally had looked down on the Dera support sought by his party for Punjab elections perhaps fearing its repercussions in Delhi gurdwara poll, is harping on the synchronised religious calendars being introduced by them for the DSGMC, construction of a 1984 Sikh carnage memorial and segregating Sikh religious affairs in Delhi from politics.

The SAD is putting its might behind the 46 candidates it has fielded for the election. All candidates fielded in different wards will be called tomorrow and asked as to who all from Punjab they want for canvassing in their wards.

Though the official line taken by AAP and the Congress is that they are not supporting any religious body, they maintain that their party leaders are free to support any of the candidates. However, it is believed that top Congress leaders will be putting their might behind the group led by former DSGMC president Sarna.

Sarna said though Capt Amarinder had campaigned for him in the last DSGMC election four years ago, “he is expecting that the leader might campaign for him even now, but in his personal capacity”.

Indian Express – Delhi Gurdwara committee polls: Voters’ photos unavailable, revised electoral rolls delayed

The government has now informed the bench that the draft electoral rolls are expected to be published by January 10, following which they will be checked and finalised.

Aneesha Mathur

New Delhi, 7 January 2017. The Directorate of Gurdwara Election told the Delhi High Court on Friday that the revised electoral rolls for elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), which were to be finalised by December 31, were delayed because the photographs of voters were not available.

In its submission before the bench of Justice Hima Kohli, the government said rules for preparing the electoral rolls had been changed in 2015, making it mandatory to have photographs of the voters. However, several voters did not submit their photographs on time.

The government has now informed the bench that the draft electoral rolls are expected to be published by January 10, following which they will be checked and finalised.

In September last year, the HC had directed the Delhi government and the chief secretary to ensure that the voter lists are completed by December 31, after a contempt of court plea had been filed by Paramjit Singh Sarna claiming that the government was “violating court orders by only revising the electoral rolls” instead of preparing fresh rolls as directed by the court.

The bench Friday declined to pass any orders and directed the government to expedite the revision. It will now hear the matter on January 12.

The Times of India – Sikh body takes a tough stand: No firecrackers this Gurpurab

New Delhi, 8 November 2016. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has decided to send out a strong message on pollution fight: there will be no firecracker celebrations this Gurpurab. The DSGMC has appealed to Sikhs in and around Delhi not to burst crackers on 14 November. The Gurpurab marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Reaching out to people, the DSGMC distributed pollution masks for free at Bangla Sahib near Connaught Place and Sisganj in Chandni Chowk on Monday.

DSGMC president Manjeet Singh GK told TOI: “We have decided not to burn any firecrackers this year on Gurpurab, which for Sikhs is akin to Diwali. The decision will be conveyed to all 700 Singh Sabhas who will, in turn, spread the message to gurdwaras in Delhi.”

Singh said the idea was to spread awareness about the need to celebrate festivals in an environment-friendly way. While DSGMC has no power to impose any kind of ban, Singh hoped that the Sikh community would refrain from bursting crackers.