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SGPC sends volunteers to fortify Sikh shrines in Haryana

Amritsar: Following the ongoing dispute over formation of a separate Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC) to look after Gurudwaras in Haryana, SGPC today has reportedly sent its Volunteers including the members of its task
India TV News Desk August 07, 2014 13:40 IST
India TV News Desk
Amritsar: Following the ongoing dispute over formation of a separate Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC) to look after Gurudwaras in Haryana, SGPC today has reportedly sent its Volunteers including the members of its task force to Haryana to fortify the Sikh shrines situated in the state.

The Jatha "delegation" comprises of about 150 members left from SGPC office in three separate buses. After reaching Haryana, they would be deployed on the gurudwaras situtated in Kurkshetar, Manji Sahib Ambala, Panjokraa, Jind Damdaam, Kapal Morcha  , Nada Sahib in Panch Kula.

The on-going tussle between Amritsar-based SGPC and its newly created parallel body over control of Sikh shrines in Haryana turned violent Wednesday when members of HSGMC "forcibly" tried to take control of a gurudwara in Kurukshetra and clashed with police leaving several people injured.

Clashes erupted outside 'Chhevin Patshahi', one of the biggest gurudwaras in Haryana, when members of Haryana Sikh Gurudwara Management Committeee (HSGMC) "forcibly" tried to enter the Sikh shrine and were stopped by police, Kurukshetra Superintendent of Police (SP) Ashwin Shenvi said.

Police used water canons, lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to cane charge to disperse the agitated members.

The members owing allegiance to HSGMC brandishing naked swords and lathis threw stones towards the shrine where the Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) members were keeping watch. Some of the stones hit the policemen who acted as a buffer between the two rival groups.

Police fired water canons to stop the marching HSGMC members to avoid a direct contact between the two rival groups. Policemen deployed at the barricades used force to check the movement of the marchers towards the shrine.

Shenvi said five police personnel were injured in the violence while the HSGMC claimed 65 of its members received injuries, five of them serious.
HSGMC President Jagdish Singh Jhinda said police used force in which 65 people owing allegiance to the newly constituted body were injured.
He said some 30 of them, including some media personnel, were taken to a civil hospital at Kurukshetra for medical attention.

Shenvi said police personnel were targeted by HSGMC members after they were stopped from marching towards the gurudwara breaking the barricades. The members pelted stones at security personnel and also indulged in a scuffle, he said.

HSGMC Vice President Didar Singh Nalwi said the situation became tense when some 400 people owing allegiance to Amritsar-based SGPC reached the gurdwara today from different parts of Punjab.

Nalwi said their protests at Kurukshetra will continue in a "peaceful manner" and that the Sikhs in Haryana will "not compromise" on the formation of HSGMC. He said some 40 vehicles parked adjacent to Kurukshetra gurdwara and Theme Park near it were damaged in the violence.