Haryana Members Walk Out Of SGPC Meeting

Jan 7, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
source: The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Punjab

Haryana members walk out of SGPC meeting

Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 14

Even as the SGPC, at its special general body meeting held here today, has decided to oppose tooth and nail the formation of a separate committee for the management of gurdwaras in Haryana, members from Haryana walked out from the meeting as it “failed” to remove their grievances. They also protested against their being termed as “Congress agents”.

The SGPC, in its resolution, has urged the Central and Haryana governments not to divide the Sikh community by creating a separate committee for Haryana. It said the governments had no right to interfere in the religious matters of the Sikh community.

Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC president, while addressing the media, said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s announcement to hold a referendum on the issue was dangerous for the unity of the country. He said the objective was to weaken the Sikh community, besides garnering votes in the upcoming Assembly elections in Haryana.

Meanwhile, Jagdish Singh Jhinda and Didar Singh Nalwi, SGPC members from Haryana, alleged that the committee had not introduced the resolution at the meeting for granting complete autonomy to the Haryana ad hoc committee for managing the affairs of the gurdwaras in their state.
Nalwi said they were misled by the SGPC as during their last meeting at Chandigarh, in which it was proposed with the mediation of senior Akali leaders MP Tarlochan Singh, Balwinder Singh Bhunder and Tota Singh to work out an amicable compromise. He said they were “shocked” that nothing concrete had been offered at the meeting and they were forced to walk out from the meeting.

Earlier, Nalwi lamented that during the reorganisation of states in 1966 by carving out Punjabi Suba, Haryana and Himachal, all parties had agreed to the formation of a separate gurdwara committee for Haryana under Section 72 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, and now the SGPC and SAD leadership was backtracking on the crucial issue.

Meanwhile, DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna in a press note here alleged that the SGPC was trying to deceive Sikh masses of Haryana by rejecting their genuine demands, besides appeasing the higher echelons of SAD leadership.