Warring Sikh groups hold secret meet to end impasse

Chandigarh: To break the deadlock over control and management of Haryana gurdwaras, the warring Sikh groups on Monday held a secret meeting in Yamunanagar. At the hour-long meeting, attended by Shiromani Akali Dal, SGPC members and leaders of the newly constituted Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, it was decided that a five-member committee of Sikh intellectuals would be formed. The panel would help in finding a way out of the current imbroglio arising due to HSGMC formation and subsequent occupation of Sikh shrines in Haryana by SGPC-SAD activists.

The meeting was reportedly arranged by former president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Paramjit Singh Sarna. While the SAD and SGPC were represented by Avtar Singh Makkar and senior Akali leaders Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Dr Daljit Cheema, the HSGMC side was represented by Joga Singh, general secretary, Harpal Singh Palli, vice president and Bhupinder Singh Asandh. HSGMC leaders insisted that a headway could only be achieved after SGPC asks its taskforce to vacate Haryana gurdwaras. Sources said both sides felt that the situation was alarming and there was need to defuse tension immediately. Akali leader Cheema said both sides have agreed to form a committee of Sikh intellectuals.

SGPC chief Makkar has been given the job of forming the committee at the earliest, he said. Till the time the committee is set up and it comes up with an acceptable solution to the problem, both sides would try to keep the tempers under control, said sources. Haryana Sikh leaders, however, made it clear that there was no going back on the issue of separate gurdwara panel. HSGMC general secretary Joga Singh said the SAD should immediately recall its leaders camping in Haryana Sikh shrines. HSGMC chief Jagdish Singh Jhinda said the committee has called a congregation of Sikhs at Kurukshetra on August 6. A seven-member HSGMC committee will also be meeting the Haryana Governor tomorrow to present their point of view.

Source: The Tribune

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