M A I N   N E W S

Re-launch of kar seva criticised
War of succession in SGPC begins
Varinder walia and Rashmi Talwar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar April 4
May an eyebrows were raised when acting President of the SGPC Alwinder Singh Pakhoke forced the manager of Darbar Sahib to open “toshakhana” for handing over the gold spades and silver bowls for re-launching of the “kar seva” of the holy tank of Golden Temple without the presence of all five “sants” here, especially when the state government and the SGPC were observing mourning.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, SAD had to intervene to pacify certain SGPC members and senior functionaries who had lodged a protest over the development on the plea that “kar seva” of the “sarovar” could not be re-launched when similar ceremony had already taken place on March 25 in the presence of five Sikh high priests, the SGPC Chief and Mr Badal . During the launching of ‘kar seva’ Mr Tohra had suffered the massive heart attack which proved to be fatal. It was alleged that the re-launching of “kar seva” coincided with the immersing of mortal remains of Jathedar Tohra into the Bhakra canal, in Fatehgarh Sahib district.

Earlier, Mr Pakhoke tried to get the keys of the office of the President of the SGPC. However, Mr Pakhoke denied that he had tried to create the situation as alleged by his detractors in the SGPC.

Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, a former Akali minister and close relative of Mr Pakhoke and Mr Raghbir Singh, an additional secretary, also performed the ‘kar seva’ with gold spades and silver bowls.

Perturbed over the development, Mr Badal called an emergency meeting of executive members of the SGPC belonging to his faction at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib tomorrow to take stock of the ‘volatile situation’, apart from making arrangements for “bhog ceremony” of Jathedar Tohra.

Sources said that Mr Badal deputed Dr Dljit Singh Cheema, secretary, to visit Amritsar to assess the situation. Mr Badal had reportedly talked to other senior Akali leaders in Amritsar to seek report about the development.

Sources in SAD and the SGPC said the “succession war” had already started which could create headache for Mr Badal. Since it was a delicate issue, Mr Badal did not want to let the situation go out of the control which could create problem for him during the coming Lok Sabha elections and general elections of the SGPC.

Earlier, devotees numbering lakhs performed “kar seva” in the second phase that started here at 7.45 am today. Ardas was performed by Giani Puran Singh, Head Granthi, Darbar Sahib, in the presence of Baba Jagtar Singh Karsevawale and four other Singh sahibaans, including Giani Mal Singh and Giani Gurbachan Singh, both granthis of Harmandir Sahib.

By afternoon the entire desilting operation in the one-fourth portion of the “sarovar” had concluded here. However the “kar seva” at Kaulsar Sarovar continued in the second phase that started at noon.

Significantly, the Baba Jagtar Singh Karsevawale was issuing special certificates to devotees from the USA, Canada and the UK to be allowed to carry the holy silt of Darbar Sahib abroad.

Sevaks today took silt in their “duppattas” and packets for their homes.

Atleast 4-inch thick silt was poured out into the “parikarma” from the “sarovar” by a human chain.

Meanwhile, the work on huge pipelines for outgoing water in the “sarovar” was stopped for nearly three hours as “sangat” for “kar seva” swelled by evening making the task difficult to complete.


Man dies during kar seva

Amritsar, April 4
An aged man died of a heart attack during the kar seva being performed by devotees to cleanse and desilt the holy sarovar on the Golden Temple premises here today.

According to the SGPC sources, the deceased, Hazara Singh, 72, was performing the kar seva at the sarovar near the Baba Atal Gurdwara side when he suddenly complained of chest pain and instantly collapsed.

Hazara Singh, had been working in the Baba Jagtar Singh’s dera in Tarn Taran for some time. — UNI

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