Rajasthan Sikhs question Akal Takht edict

Abohar, Punjab: The trustees of Gurdwara Buddha Johad in Raisinghnagar segment of Sriganganagar in Rajasthan today questioned the rationale behind the Akal Takht edict of censuring two and excommunicating one of them following a dispute over the change of the guard.

Baldev Singh Brar, a trustee and son of BJP former state minister Gurjant Singh Brar, claimed at a meet-the-press programme at Sriganganagar that he had been “wrongfully” excommunicated since no letter to appear before Akal Takht was ever delivered to him. “How can you condemn someone without giving him a proper hearing?” he said.

Describing the verdicts as “politically motivated and biased” he said the detractors of the trust had vested interests. One of them had allegedly collected more than Rs 30 crore from NRIs on the pretext of renovation of the historic gurdwara, he alleged.

Trust president Gurpartap Singh, secretary Malkiat Singh Nanda, trustee Hakam Singh Gill and Rajasthan Dharam Prachar Committee spokesman Surat Singh were also present at the meeting.

Brar claimed that nine out of 13 trustees had appeared at Akal Takht and explained the factual position. Regretfully, Akal Takht had not taken any action against the Sikhs who staged dharna at Gurdwara Buddha Johad last year to press for their demands although the dharna was in violation of high Panthic ethics, he said.

Admitting that Akal Takht was supreme, the trustees said the Buddha Johad Trust was founded in 1972 and enjoyed recognition under the Indian Trust Act and the Rajasthan Devsthan Board. Some disputes over the gurdwara land were pending in the court and their fate might be affected adversely if the trust was dissolved by Akal Takht. They recalled that the historic gurdwaras at Patna and Nanded were also managed by separate trusts. They urged Akal Takht representatives to visit Buddha Johad and convene open congregation of Sikhs to resolve the dispute, if any.

Akal Takht had formed two sub-committees for the Buddha Johad gurdwara and directed that account statements be displayed on the notice board every month, besides constituting a new managing committee within 6 months.

SAD (A) chief and former MP Simranjit Singh Mann visited Sriganganagar district recently. While interacting with the media at Abohar, he blamed the SGPC for the mess and urged Akal Takht to be impartial. Mann had appreciated the zeal with which the trust at Buddha Johad had been functioning.

Source: HT

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