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HSGPC supporters continue to sit on dharna, SAD meets Governor

PTI 03 Aug 2014, 15:23:22 PM IST
Chandigarh: The supporters and leaders of separate Gurudwara body continued to sit on a dharna at Kurukshetra for the second day today remaining adamant to wrest control of the Gurudwaras from Amritsar-based SGPC, even as a SAD delegation met the Haryana Governor here and demanded immediate review of the “unconstitutional” Act passed by the state assembly.

A senior Haryana police officer maintained that the situation near the site where the HSGMC supporters were sitting on a dharna was volatile, but under control.  

“A group of Sikhs is still squatting near the Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi (Kurukshetra). Yesterday, they moved to the site to take over control of the shrine.

The situation is slightly volatile, but better than yesterday,” Kurukshetra's Superintendent of Police, Ashwin Shenvi said.

He said that a posse of police has been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident.

“Yesterday, the Sikhs who were squatting on the road, have cleared it and moved to the side of footpaths. However, as a precautionary measure, we have diverted the vehicular traffic on that road (near the Gurudwara). The situation is fully under control and at the moment we don't see a build up which would lead to any clash (between Haryana SGPC and Amritsar-based SGPC supporters.),” he said.  

In Chandigarh, a high level delegation of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) that also comprised of the SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar, SAD Secretary General Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, SAD leaders Prem Singh Chandumajra and Daljit Singh Cheema met Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki here today and demanded “immediate review of the unconstitutional Act passed by the Haryana Assembly against Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925.”

“We apprised the Governor that by enacting this Act the Haryana assembly has engrossed upon the area of SGPC which has been declared as an inter-state body corporate as per the Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966,” Cheema said.  

Cheema said that the delegation also apprised the Governor about the plans of the separate Committee to “forcibly take control of the historical Gurdwaras being governed by the SGPC.”

“The delegation urged the Governor to direct the Haryana Government to work as per the constitutional norms and tell them to desist from evil designs which can cause massive unrest and law and order situation in the state.  “A detailed memorandum was also submitted to the Governor about the unconstitutional Act passed by the Haryana Assembly and we have demanded immediate reversal of the process,” Cheema said.

Meanwhile, the separate Committee leaders and supporters, who gathered in large number outside the Kurukshetra Gurudwara, remained adamant on taking over control of the shrines in Haryana from the Amritsar-based SGPC, the apex religious body of the Sikhs.

Yesterday, in their efforts for taking over control of Gurudwaras in Haryana in the wake of the State enacting a law for separate body to manage the affairs of the shrines, the Haryana SGPC leaders and supporters started a march and later sat on a dharna outside the Chhevin Patshahi Gurudwara in Kurukshetra, which is still under the control of the Amritsar-based SGPC.

The Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, which had earlier ordered to maintain status quo, has again appealed for peace.

The Akal Takht Jathedar, Gyani Gurbachan Singh has said in Amritsar that both groups—the Haryana SGPC and SGPC—must exercise restraint.

However, Haryana's separate committee leaders Jagdish Singh Jhinda and Didar Singh Nalwi, both of whom have been ex-communicated from the Sikh community by the Akal Takht, have maintained that the Sikh community of Haryana will not tolerate “forcible occupation of the gurudwaras”.

The row has been escalating after Haryana formed its separate committee last month, yielding to the “long-standing” demand of the Haryana Sikhs. The Congress had promised in its poll manifesto a separate committee for the State's Sikhs in 2005.