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Medford Gurdwara Responds To Allegations

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by plamba, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. plamba

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    Jul 1, 2004
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    The following is Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar's official perspective
    on the recent controversy, as submitted by the gurdwara's secretary,
    Gurinder Singh Saini, in a letter to The Sikh Times. Despite several
    requests, however, the gurdwara failed to provide The Sikh Times
    with a copy of its constitution. Saini stated that Paramjit Singh is
    not a formal (paid) member of the gurdwara. He wrote, "We don't keep
    records of visitors - regular or otherwise, so I cannot comment on
    whether he was a regular visitor" (September 23, 2005).


    Medford Gurdwara Responds to Allegations


    The Sikh Times, Medford, MA, Sep. 13, 2005

    Photo: (L to R) Karminder Singh, Jaspal Singh Pabla, and Bachittar
    Singh Sodhi

    I refer to the report dated July 18, 2005. The report contains
    factual errors, which I write to correct on behalf of the gurdwara's
    management committee.

    The gurdwara came into existence in 1997. Its by-laws and articles
    were drawn up by the board of directors in the same year. The
    current management committee was elected according to these by-laws
    and is bound by them.

    Every action by the management committee is always in accordance
    with these by-laws, while keeping the interests of the sangat
    [community] and gur-maryada [code of conduct] paramount.

    Darshan Singh and Raginder Singh were removed by unanimous vote of
    the board of directors on May 5, 2005 in accordance with the
    provisions of the by-laws.

    They have refused to accept the decision of the board and have
    instead pledged to take over the gurdwara by force.

    Such a decision on their part has resulted in a group of people
    adopting illegal and immoral actions. Disrupting the Sunday diwans
    [congregations], grabbing microphones, making speeches, issuing
    threats, making obscene calls to the homes of committee members,
    using vulgarities, and causing damage to the cars of committee

    Attempts to reason with the group through discussion and meetings
    have failed to produce any positive results.

    Lately, the group has resorted to open demonstrations, destruction
    of effigies of committee members, preventing the sangat from
    entering the gurdwara, and poison-pen letter campaigns.

    The report claims, "there were not enough votes to remove him
    [Darshan Singh] at the directors' meeting, so the committee changed
    the by-laws to remove him from his post." However, the vote to
    remove both people was unanimous and no provision of the by-laws was
    amended to facilitate their removal.

    The report makes various allegations against the committee
    attributed to Darshan Singh and his group. Darshan Singh had been a
    member of the gurdwara committee since 1997. However, his criticisms
    of the management committee only appeared after he was removed.
    These allegations have been made in bad faith to instigate the

    The report says that both sides have engaged lawyers. The gurdwara
    has had a lawyer ever since it was set up in 1997. It is Darshan
    Singh's group that has engaged a lawyer in order to intimidate the
    committee. The committee is prepared to go to court as it is
    convinced that its actions are within the confines of the law.

    The report claims that "150" people singed a petition for the
    reinstatement of the sacked duo. It is the committee's estimate that
    some 20 people signed the petition. Some signatures belong to non-
    existent people, some people have signed repeatedly, and some have
    told the committee that they were told the petition was for other
    purposes. The list has many forged signatures as well.

    The report quotes one Paramjit Singh as a "member" of the gurdwara.
    No such person by this name exists in the gurdwara's membership

    Finally, the committee views this conflict as an illegal attempt by
    a group of non-members and outsiders to take over the gurdwara by
    force. Such action will not be tolerated. The by-laws provide for
    elections and change of office bearers. The committee can be changed
    by legal and peaceful means. In the meantime, the committee will use
    all legal means to prevent this group from disrupting,
    inconveniencing and preventing the regular sangat from having its
    prayers every Sunday.



    Puneet Singh Lamba
    Boston, MA
    (339) 221-1561
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