With regards to the highly despicable incident of sacrilege that took place at Sri Harmandar Sahib on Saturday, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today convened an assembly with the representatives of various Sikh organizations, in which the Sikh leaders expressed their views and strongly condemned the incidents while expressing their commitment to defeat the anti-Panth forces.
At the assembly, presided over by the SGPC President S. Harjinder Singh Dhami, the leaders of the various Sikh organizations unanimously declared that the anti-Panth (anti-community) forces would be fought with unity. The Panthic assembly felt that the patience of Sikh Panth is running out, so the governments should act well in time. The Sikh leaders who spoke at the assembly said that the incident at Sri Harmandar Sahib has caused deep mental and spiritual anguish to the Sikh community and the Panth would never tolerate the perpetrators of such incidents being spared.
During the assembly, it has been discussed that the failure of the governments is raising the spirits of the people who are committing the heinous crime of sacrilege, but the Sikh Panth could never tolerate this. They said Sangat (community) has lost faith in the law and government machinery as it has not taken any culprit to severe punishment, forcing the Sikh Panth to take a decision on its own.
Apart from SGPC President those addressed the assembly included Shiromani Panth Akali Budha Dal chief Baba Balbir Singh, Dal Panth Baba Bidhi Chand chief Baba Avtar Singh Sursingh, Baba Sukhdev Singh from Damdami Taksal, Baba Sewa Singh Khadur Sahib Padma Shri, Bhai Jatinder Singh from California, USA, Baba Gurdial Singh Tanda, Baba Hardev Singh Talwandi Rai, Baba Amir Singh Nanaksar Samprada, Baba Jagjit Singh Lopo Wale, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, and Mahant Ravinder Das. The leaders pledged cooperation with the SGPC at all levels.
On this occasion some resolutions were also passed by the assembly regarding the issue of sacrilege. The resolutions were announced by SGPC members Bhai Rajinder Singh Mehta, Bhai Ram Singh, Bhai Manjit Singh and S. Bhagwant Singh Sialka and the assembly approved them amid resonance of jaikaras (Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal).
The resolutions passed said that the incidents of sacrilege are being carried out in a planned manner by the anti-Panth forces. Sadly, the masterminds behind those accused who were arrested have not yet been exposed and no one has been given exemplary punishment. Due to this behaviour of the governments, the morale of the people who are committing atrocities and sacrilege is increasing day by day.
A resolution also said that the ground is being prepared for conspiracies to disturb the peaceful environment of Punjab but the governments are taking it lightly.
The assembly, through resolutions, appealed that every Sikh should recognize their duty to expose the plots of anti-Sikh powers. While it is important to punish the perpetrators of sacrilege, it is even more important to reach out to the conspirators. The resolutions passed by the Panthic assembly also called for strengthening Panthic unity and harmony.
Meanwhile, the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib was urged to issue guidelines to the Sangat in view of the unfortunate incidents taking place.
In a resolution announced by Baba Nagar Singh Tarna Dal on this occasion it was announced to stand firmly with the SGPC at all levels. It was said that whatever Panthic program would be drawn up to tackle the challenges facing the Panth, all Sikh sampradas and jathebandis (organisations) would be at the forefront of putting it into practice.
Committee will be constituted regarding incident of Sri Harmandar Sahib: S Harjinder Singh Dhami
Addressing the press conference after the Panthic assembly, SGPC President S. Harjinder Singh Dhami said that as per the opinion of the leaders of the jathebandis, a committee will be constituted by the SGPC in connection with the incident that took place at Sri Harmandar Sahib, which will closely investigate this case.
The committee will comprise of two representatives from jathebandis, two from SGPC and two from Panthic scholars.
“The SGPC has watched the CCTV footage to get to the bottom of the incident and this committee will work to scrutinise the cameras outside Sri Harmandar Sahib. CCTV cameras revealed that the accused had reached Sri Harmandar Sahib via Jalliawala Bagh Marg at 8.30 am on the day of incident (on Saturday). During this time he first came from Sri Akal Takht Sahib Secretariat side at about 9 am to enter the parikarma (circumambulation), but returned. He then reached Guru Ramdas Sarai side through the plaza and entered the langar hall at 9:38 am. He had langar and drank tea. From here he entered the parikarma of Sri Harmandar Sahib at 10:19 am”, said S. Harjinder Singh.
The accused reached inside the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Harmandar Sahib for the first time at 10:34 am and at 10:37 am, he went upstairs on Har Ki Paurhi and came out at 11:45 am. He then re-entered Sri Harmandar Sahib and committed the highly despicable incident at 5:46 pm.
S. Harjinder Singh said, “It is clear from the CCTV cameras that he was afraid and kept walking with his face down all day. In the meanwhile, he was also taken out by the tax force thinking that he might be a pickpocketeer. It is clear that the accused had come in bad faith and was working as per the training received in advance.”
To a query, S. Harjinder Singh said that whatever punishment was meted out to him by the Sikh Panth, it is due to hurting religious sentiments and failure of the governments in delivering justice in sacrilege cases. If the intentions of the governments were clear then the culprits can never commit such crimes. He said in the past a large number of cases of sacrilege and its attempt have been recorded but the governments failed to deliver justice at large.
SGPC President also questioned the performance of the government and police in the incident which took place at Nizampur Morh village in Kapurthala district. He said that Granthi and his family are being deliberately involved in this matter and the governments should not resort to arbitrary action otherwise the results would not be good.
Meanwhile, S. Harjinder Singh held a separate meeting with the office bearers of the SGPC and members of the SGPC executive committee (EC) to discuss the incident at Sri Harmandir Sahib and the arrangements were reviewed.
Those present in the meeting included SGPC senior vice-president S. Raghujit Singh Virk, junior vice-president Principal Surinder Singh, general secretary S. Karnail Singh Panjoli, EC members S. Surjit Singh Kang, S. Sarwan Singh Kular, S. Surjit Singh Garhi, S. Jarnail Singh Dogranwala, S. Balwinder Singh Vain Puin, S. Harjap Singh Sultanwind, S. Gurinderpal Singh Gora, S. Amarjit Singh Bandala, Bibi Gurpreet Kaur, S. Jodh Singh Samra, and Baba Gurpreet Singh.