Dissent in HSGMC, a section eyes leadership with suspicion

Karnal, Haryana: Within two days of taking over the administrative control Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi at Guhla-Cheeka, dissent has started brewing among the ranks of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

A section of the 40-member ad hoc panel of the HSGMC claims that they were kept in the dark about any planning of taking ‘sewa’ of the gurdwara and blamed an axis group of four members of executive body for orchestrating violence that erupted near Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, members of the ad hoc panel told Hindustan Times that the district administration should initiate investigation to identify a small group of 20-25 Sikhs that instigated the protesters to clash with the police.

They further allege that the “HSGMC axis” having an image of hardliners seemed to have a secret pact with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

Sources in the HSGMC executive said the Supreme Court’s order of maintaining a status quo on gurdwara management would benefit the SAD in the forthcoming byelections in Punjab’s two legislative assembly constituencies and they see a section of its own leaders with an eye of suspicion.

“For nearly a month, the gurdwara remained heavily guarded and several Akali leaders from Punjab were regularly visiting the shrine. It is still unclear how a group of our (HSGMC) supporters could enter the gurdwara and take its sewa without any resistance by the SGPC. It is a mystery how the number of those camping in the gurdwara remained negligent that day,” an HSGMC source said.

SGPC member from Kurukshetra Harbhajan Singh Masana had filed a petition in the Supreme Court questioning the constitutional validity of the HSGMC enacted by the Haryana government.

An HSGMC source said Masana had apprehended bloodbath due to the ongoing gurdwara management row. “Though we were protesting for the last few days the situation was never volatile. The district administration did not impose Section 144 of CrPc (that prohibits gathering of four or more persons) and we were allowed to sit on dharna near the gurdwara,” he said.

The source also claimed that the executive body in its meeting on Saturday had decided not to sit on protest but the same axis of leaders overlooked the decision and started indefinite dharna.

Another leader said it was interesting to see that one day before hearing on Masana’s plea in the apex court, a section of HSGMC called in followers in a large numbers and situation suddenly shaped exactly as the SGPC member had apprehended in his petition.

An executive member said a group in executive committee had called a Sikh meeting outside Kurukshetra gurdwara on Wednesday without any intimation to the House.

He said the real trouble started as HSGMC president Jagdish Singh Jhinda suddenly asked the sangat to travel towards GulhaCheeka in Kaithal district where it had taken over the administrative control.

“A sangat of 700-800 had gathered and a group of unidentified turbaned men were noticed among the crowd. Jhinda and few others left the protest site in a haste and there was no guide or lead the protesters. It was at this stage that those unidentified Sikh instigated sangat to forcibly enter Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi,” said the leader.

Source: HT

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