Thursday, February 24, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Jathedar forms panel for WSC
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Feb 23 — In a significant move, Giani Puran Singh, Jathedar Akal Takht, has constituted a 12-member executive committee to run the affairs of the World Sikh Council (WSC). With this, the two warring factions of the WSC stand disbanded. The newly-constituted committee would start functioning immediately under the patronage of Akal Takht.

However, former Jathedar of Akal Takht Bhai Ranjit Singh has challenged the authority of Giani Puran Singh to disband the WSC headed by Justice Kuldip Singh (retd). He said Giani Puran Singh had no locus standi to interfere in the affairs of the WSC as he was only a “sarkari jathedar” and added. “I shall oppose this move tooth and nail, Let Giani Puran Singh dare summon me to Akal Takht.

Giani Puran Singh, however, stated that the step to constitute the 12-member executive committee had been taken keeping the larger interests of the Sikh Panth in mind.

Due representation has been given to both factions of the WSC in the newly-formed executive committee. Interestingly, the committee included SGPC chief, who has already been ‘excommunicated’ from the Sikh Panth by Giani Puran Singh. Other members of the executive committee, include Justice Kuldip Singh (retd), Mr Didar Singh Bains of Canada, Justice Mota Singh, Justice Supreme Court England, Giani Bachiter Singh, Advocate, Dr Darshan Singh of Panjab University, Dr Balkar Singh of Punjabi University, Patiala, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, President, SAD (Badal), Mr Kirpa Singh Badungar, Secretary SAD. Mr Talib Singh Sandhu, Dr Puran Singh Jassi and Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, Mr Hit and Dr Jassi were in the limelight when they were deputed by Mr Badal to bring about a rapprochement between Giani Puran Singh and Bibi Jagir Kaur.

The directive of Giani Puran Singh reads “there would be no faction of the WSC now. Both the factions would submit their accounts and entire record to Akal Takht in its forthcoming meeting scheduled to be held at the Takht on March 1. The executive committee would make all necessary amendments by Baisakhi next year. The new body of the WSC would be elected only after the amendments”.

The directive of Giani Puran also stated that no faction of the WSC would indulge in allegations and counter allegations in the larger interest of the Panth.

The Akal Takht Jathedar has taken this step eight months after summoning Justice Kuldip Singh (retd), President of the council, and Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, general secretary of the council to Akal Takht on July 26 and July 31 respectively.

However, Justice Kuldip Singh (retd), a close confidant of Bhai Ranjit Singh, while talking to TNS said he would take “an independent decision” in the wake of these developments. He refused to comment on the constitution of the 12-member executive committee. He, however, dissociated from the seminar being conducted by the regional council of the WSC on March 4 under the patronage of Bhai Ranjit Singh and Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, President Sant Samaj. He said Mr Kulbir Singh Kaura, chairman of the council (Amritsar region), had taken an independent decision to organise the seminar.

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