Wednesday, November 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

SGPC wants ‘tankhah’ for Capt
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 12
Apart from seeking the resignation of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the general house meeting of the SGPC today urged Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti to pronounce “exemplary tankhah” (religious punishment) as per Sikh maryada so that no Chief Minister could dare to send the police into the “darbar sahib” complex in future, which had hurt the sentiments of Sikhs.

The resolution gave a call to the “Sikh jagat” (Sikh masses) to strongly stand against the Congress which had been hurting the Sikh sentiments.

The general house condemned the clamping of prohibitory orders all over the state on the eve of the SGPC elections which was “uncalled for and unprecedented”. It alleged that devotees visiting the Golden Temple were harassed due to the “arm-twisting methods” of the state for vested political interests. It expressed deep concern over getting the gurdwara serais vacated by imposing prohibitory orders, thereby causing inconvenience to the devotees who had come from far-off places to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple.

A resolution passed on the occasion urged the Centre to order general elections of the SGPC as its five-year term had expired.

In another resolution, the general house urged the Central Government to amend the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, to debar sehajdhari Sikhs from casting votes in the SGPC elections. The resolution added that there had been an attempt to take control of the SGPC through “infiltration” of non-Sikhs under the garb of Sikhs into the SGPC.

The general house asked the Centre to construct a double-lane flyover between the G.T. Road and Darbar Sahib to ease the traffic. It also demanded a 100 ft road between Gheo Mandi and the Golden Temple as per the original design.

Since Sikh shrines in Afghanistan are in a pitiable condition, a resolution of the general house asked the Union Government to take up the case for carrying out “kar sewa” with the Afghan Government at the earliest. Another resolution expressed concern over the poor condition of gurdwaras in Bangladesh.

The last resolution asked the HP Government to make arrangements for teaching Punjabi in the state.


Amarinder must resign: Badal
Tribune News Service and UNI

Amritsar, November 12
Shiromani Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal, who retained control of the SGPC, today demanded that the Punjab Congress Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh should quit his post because “he has interfered in the Sikh religious affairs’’.

Mr Badal said his was a “victory of the Khalsa Panth” and a lesson for Capt Amarinder Singh and his Akali associates’’. “The Congress government should never interfere in the religious affairs of the Sikhs and Akali leaders backed by it have no future’’.

“Now that Capt Amarinder Singh has seen the result of his attempts, he should stop sending the police into the Golden Temple complex,’’ Mr Badal said.

He reminded the Chief Minister that he had quit his party and official posts twice in the past on the same grounds.

Capt Amarinder Singh quit as Cabinet Minister in the Akali government of Mr Surjit Singh Barnala in 1986 when it sent the police into the complex. Earlier, he had quit as a Congress MP to protest the army action during Operation Bluestar.

Mr Badal predicted a deep impact of today’s SGPC election outcome on the state politics. He, however, declined to comment when asked if it could lead to the countdown of Capt Amarinder Singh as Punjab Chief Minister.

The SAD chief earlier told reporters that today’s SGPC showdown was “not a fight against Mr Tohra’’ who put up Sant Vir Singh Madhoke against Mr Badal’s nominee Kirpal Singh Badungar.

“It was a fight against the ruling Congress.’’ Today’s decisive victory, however, would lead up to the “elimination of the SHSAD’’, Mr Badal said.

Re-elected SGPC President Kirpal Singh Badungar has also demanded the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on the charge of blatant interference in the religious affairs of the Sikh community.

Talking to mediapersons immediately after his victory, he asked when Capt Amarinder Singh could quit twice earlier on moral ground to protest against the police entry into the Golden Temple premises, he had no right to continue in the high office now. “He should resign because he as Chief Minister of a secular party had no right to interfere in the religious affairs of the Sikhs,’’ Mr Badungar added.

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