Takht Patna Sahib row rages on

Amritsar, Punjab: The SAD and the Sarna—led SAD (Delhi) are once again face to face over the management of Takht Sri Patna Sahib. The Takht has been embroiled in a controversy ever since a violent clash on January 7 over the appointment of additional head granthi.

The postponement of Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Committee meeting scheduled for June 22 by the Sarna group and the subsequent move by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to hold a meeting on their own has triggered a fresh confrontation.

As Avtar Singh Makkar, who is a member of Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Committee, today claimed that the meeting held by him was legal, the Sarna group termed it as “illegal”.

Talking to The Tribune, Makkar claimed that the meeting was constitutional. “Eight of the 15 members attended the meeting and they empowered me to chair the meeting,” he said.

He said the meeting had cancelled the “unconstitutional decisions” taken by the committee in the past. Makkar said the meeting had decided to reinstate Giani Iqbal Singh and cancel the appointment of Giani Partap Singh as additional head granthi. It had also been decided that funds utilised by Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Committee office-bearers to contest the case lodged against them by Jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh would be recovered from them as these belonged to the gurdwara.

A five-member committee had been constituted to probe “financial irregularities” and to run day-to-day affairs as the Takht’s annual budget had not been passed till date. Usually, this was done before March 15, Makkar said.

But the Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Committee general secretary, Charanjit Singh, said they had postponed the June 22 meeting as Akal Takht had issued orders to maintain a status quo.

They had been informed about Makkar’s arrival in Patna and they did not want another clash, he said. “Also, there were reports that a Women’s Commission team would visit Patna in connection with the complaint filed by Giani Iqbal Singh’s wife against him,” he said.

He accused Makkar of trying to take over Takht Patna Sahib management committee. He said Makkar’s move to reinstate Giani Iqbal Singh and cancel the appointment of Giani Partap Singh was against the Akal Takht’s directions.

Calling the meeting held by Makkar as “totally unconstitutional,” he said they were seeking legal opinion in this regard.

Source: The Tribune

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