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Medford Gurdwara Responds To Allegations


Jul 1, 2004
Boston, MA
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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