Tuesday, December 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Udasis are Sikhs, says SGPC chief
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 9
The Dharam Prachar Committee (DPC) of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has declared that Nirmal and Udasi sects were an integral part of Sikhism. The SGPC has decided to challenge the decision of the Supreme Court which pronounced that ‘udasi deras’ were not gurdwaras.

The SGPC chief, Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar who presided over the meeting said he had instructed his staff to get an approved copy of the Supreme Court verdict so that it could be challenged.

In another development the Dharam Prachar Committee has decided that new gurdwaras could be built only with the prior permission of the Jathedar, Akal Takht. This decision has been taken to check the mushrooming of non-historical or unauthorised Sikh shrines. Professor Badungar, however, said no gurdwara on caste basis would be allowed. For this purpose, the SGPC would approach the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti shortly.

Professor Badungar said the SGPC would advise Mr Joginder Singh Panjrath, an SGPC member facing charges of visiting the dera of Ashutosh, to appear before Akal Takht to prove his innocence. He claimed that Mr Panjrath was innocent and his picture was super-imposed on that of dera of Ashutosh by tricks of photography. He said the SGPC would also advise Mr Panjrath to file case for the manipulation of his photograph.

The SGPC also took serious note of the challan of the vehicles driven by Sikh women/girls not wearing helmets. He said instead of implementing the orders, the state government should have challenged the orders keeping in view the sentiments of the Sikh community. He said the SGPC would contest the orders in a court.

The DPC has also decided to constitute a monitoring cell of Sikh intellectuals to check the distortion in Sikh history if any.

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