Akal Takht Jathedar annuls selection of Golden Temple priests JAGMOHAN SINGH - PunjabNewsline,com Saturday, 09 September 2006 AMRITSAR: Jatehdar Akal Takht (highest Sikh Temporal Seat) Gyani Joginder Singh Vedanti during a high level meeting here Saturday annulled the selection of three designate priests of Golden Temple. Radical Sikh organisations had opposed these appointments. The name of three people were Bhai Gurbax Singh, Bhai Jaspal Singh, and Bhai Mann Singh for religious post as a priest of Golden Temple was announced by the SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) chief Avtar Singh Makkar a month ago. But immediate after the announcements made by the SGPC for the appointments of new priests of the Golden Temple, severe resentments started to come from the various Sikh religious organizations which forced the Jatehdar Akal Takht Vedanti to take suo-moto notice. During the high level meeting chaired by Vedanti, it was unanimously resolved that the designate appointments of three people as a priest of Golden Temple was null and void, since no religious ethics, norms and Sikh traditions were adhered, hence these appointments stood cancelled forthwith. According to the highly placed SGPC sources, there is set procedure to fill the religious vacancies, First of all demand is raised by the Head priest of Golden Temple, thereafter a certain religious test is conducted, followed by the interview to be conducted by the various Sikh intellectuals, heads of all main Sikh religious organizations, after that all the qualities and life character of candidates scrutinized by the ‘Dharam Parchar’ Committee of the SGPC and atlast Jatehdar Akal Takht gives his final approval, But unfortunately none of the step was followed except the hegemony of Badal. Today Vedanti chaired the high level meeting was attended by the Jatehdar Kesgarh Sahib Tarlochan Singh, JatehdarTalwandi Sabo Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Head Priest Golden Temple Gyani Gurbachan Singh, Additional Head Priest Golden Temple Gyani Mohan Singh and three priests to Golden Temple Gyani Jagtar Singh, Bhai Jaswant Singh and Bhai Mal Singh. It may be mentioned here that the name of these three people for the religious post was the choice of SAD Chief and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal who had directed the SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar to announce their name. This is first time Vedanti in his tenure has dared to review the decision of SGPC Chief particularly which was done on the behest of Badal.