Wednesday, December 13, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

SGPC meeting skirts key issues
From Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Dec 12 — Even as Mr Harbans Singh Manjpur, executive member belonging to the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, raised objections on alleged irregularities and misappropriation of funds committed during the tenure of Bibi Jagir Kaur, many items on the agenda of the SGPC executive meeting held here today were kept pending till tomorrow.

At the first executive meeting of the SGPC held in Guru Nanak Niwas after the appointment of Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi as the SGPC chief, Mr Manjpur urged Mr Talwandi that since a case for recovery of Rs 51 lakh had been filed against Bibi Jagir Kaur, former SGPC chief, the SGPC Secretary and Mr Harjit Singh, personal assistant of the Bibi, with the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission, the matter be kept pending.

This can be interpreted yet another blow to the beleaguered Bibi Jagir Kaur as she had made huge payments in anticipation of the approval of the Executive Committee during her stint as the SGPC chief.

All 44 items on the agenda of the meeting, including reviewing the decision of sending jathas to Pakistan, were postponed. The meeting which started at 11 a.m., continued till late in the night.

Another important item to be discussed tomorrow is the enhancement in the salary of the entire staff of the SGPC as announced by Bibi Jagir Kaur a few days before her removal.

On the demand of SHSAD members, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, assured them that the “surplus employees” recruited in the past one-and-a-half year at the time of Bibi Jagir Kaur would be removed. Mr Manjpur had alleged that more than 1,300 employees were appointed by Bibi Jagir Kaur. Mr Manjpur said due to surprise staff, some gurdwaras (under Section 87) were unable to pay the “daswandh” (one-tenths of the offerings) to the SGPC as a big chunk of the budget is paid as salaries.

SHSAD members said they would force the executive committee to remove Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan as secretary on the basis of three-member inquiry committee which had indicted him for making payment of Rs 2 lakh to Mr Kashmir Singh Gandiwind, an SGPC member in violation of SGPC bylaws.

However, the SHSAD members were all praise for Mr Talwandi over the good conducting of today’s meeting. “Mr Talwandi is quite responsive as compare to Bibi Jagir Kaur”, said Mr Manjpur. He said the members of SHSAD would fully cooperate with Mr Talwandi.

Mr Manjpur said he would also ask the members to table the inquiry report against Prof Manjit Singh and Giani Kewal Singh, jathedars of Sri Kesgarh Sahib and Damdama Sahib, respectively, in the meeting. 

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