Monday, March 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bibi’s aide seeks pardon
Jagir Kaur sends third letter
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, March 26 — Mr Pritam Singh Bhatia, an SGPC executive member and supporter of the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, in a letter to Giani Puran Singh, Jathedar Akal Takht, today sought pardon for opposing the ‘hukamnama’ issued from Guna (Madhya Pradesh).

Responding to his letter, Giani Puran Singh directed Mr Bhatia to appear before Akal Takht on March 28 at 9 am for seeking pardon.

Meanwhile, Mr Surinder Singh Kairon, a former MP and father-in-law of the daughter of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and an Akali MLA, Mr Ajay Paul Singh Mirankot, held a closed-door meeting with Giani Puran Singh. However, they failed to persuade Jathedar Akal Takht for giving opportunity to Bibi Jagir Kaur to seek apology for her religious misconduct before the SGPC executive, scheduled for February 28. Giani Puran Singh told the new mediators that Bibi Jagir Kaur would have to mention it clearly that she had denigrated Akal Takht and wanted to seek pardon, Giani Puran Singh showed the letter of Mr Bhatia to Mr Kairon and Mr Mirankot on the basis of which he (Mr Bhatia) was given time to seek apology. He asked them that Bibi should write a letter like one written by Mr Bhatia.

Interestingly, Mr Bhatia has already taken “tankhah” (punishment for religious misconduct) on February 2 along with other executive members for implementing controversial Nanakshahi calendar. However, after completing the “tankhah” Mr Bhatia again opposed the ‘hukamnama’ issued by Giani Puran Singh on January 25 from Guna (Madhya Pradesh) wherein Bibi Jagir Kaur was excommunicated from the Sikh Panth. For this, he (Mr Bhatia) was excommunicated along with three high priests and an SGPC member on March 12.

Mr Bhatia has been given the time to appear on March 28, the day, when the SGPC executive would hold its crucial meeting. It is yet to be seen whether he would be allowed to attend the meeting.

Mr Harbans Singh Manjpur, an SGPC executive member, who is a confidant of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, said his faction would not allow Bibi Jagir Kaur to preside over the forthcoming meeting, scheduled for March 28 if she failed to re-join the Sikh Panth by that time. Mr Tohra had also paid “secret” visit to the city yesterday. He had reportedly held meetings with certain SGPC members.

UNI adds: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Jagir Kaur’s third “conditional” letter expressing readiness to appear at the Akal Takht to pave the way for her re-admittance into the Panthic fold was delivered to Takht Jathedar Giani Puran Singh at his residence here on Sunday evening.

Informed sources told UNI that the letter was delivered by Sant Samaj President Baba Kashmira Singh, adding Samaj Acting President Sant Mangal Singh Satlani, a confidant of the Akal Takht Jathedar, was present at the residence of Giani Puran Singh at the time of delivery of the letter.

The sources said the third letter delivered on Sunday also might not cut much ice with Giani Puran Singh because Bibi Jagir Kaur has again put the pre-condition that she would appear before ‘the five recognised Sikh high priests’. Giani Puran Singh can not meet this pre-condition.

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