Sikhs hold protest march at Nanded against changes in Gurdwara Act : The Tribune India

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Sikhs hold protest march at Nanded against changes in Gurdwara Act

Sikhs hold protest march at Nanded against changes in Gurdwara Act

Sikhs stage a massive protest march against the Maharashtra Government’s move to amend the Gurdwara Act in Nanded.



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 9

Peeved by the amendments to the Nanded Sikh Gurdwara Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Act, 1956, by the Maharashtra Government, a delegation of the SGPC today joined the protest at Nanded.

Led by SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami, Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Sultan Singh on behalf of the Akal Takht Jathedar, SGPC general secretary Rajinder Singh Mehta and SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema reached Nanded while responding to a protest call by Hazur Sahib ‘sangat’ compelling the Maharashtra Cabinet to roll back its move. They also held a detailed discussion on the issue with Takht Hazur Sahib Jathedar Giani Kulwant Singh.

It is learnt that a large number of Sikhs, led by ‘Panj Pyaras’ (five beloved ones), carrying banners, marched to streets from Takht Sri Hazur Sahib shrine after performing ardas at the Hazur Sahib gurdwara and announced to hold a ‘morcha’ against this ‘anti-Sikh’ Act till its logical conclusion. Even shopkeepers downed shutters in Nanded markets as mark of protest. Later, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the office of the Nanded Collector.

As per the fresh amendment, the government would have the discretion to directly nominate 12 members of its choice, including the president, in the 17-member board of Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, one of the five temporal seats of Sikh faith associated with the 10th Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh.

To pave the way for it, the number of members nominated by the SGPC has been curtailed from four to two in the board. Ironically, the nomination from over 120-year-old Sikh body Chief Khalsa Diwan and Hazuri Sachkhand Diwan has been omitted. Similarly, the clause of including two Sikh MPs has also been eliminated.

Expressing strong disapproval over the amendments, Dhami said it was a deliberate attempt to control Sikh affairs in the state. “It is a sad and highly condemnable step which will empower the government to interfere in Sikh affairs which cannot be tolerated,” he said.

The SGPC had written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde objecting to the arbitrary amendments. Dhami has sought an appointment with the Chief Minister to discuss the issue in the larger interest of the Sikh community.

“The move to limit the representation of the Sikh organisations in the shrine affairs is totally uncalled for. We urged the Maharashtra Government to withdraw its move to distort the Nanded Sikh Gurdwara Act. It has invited resentment from the global Sikh community. We have been receiving scores of messages,” he said.

Row over amendment to Act

  • As per the fresh amendment, the Maharashtra Government will have the discretion to directly nominate 12 members of its choice, including the president, in the 17-member board of Takht Sri Hazur Sahib
  • To pave the way for it, the number of members nominated by the SGPC has been curtailed from four to two in the board
  • Ironically, the nomination from over 120-year-old Sikh body Chief Khalsa Diwan and Hazuri Sachkhand Diwan has been done away with. Similarly, the clause of including two Sikh MPs has also been omitted

SAD, SGPC team joins protest

  • SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami and SAD leader Daljit Cheema reached Nanded to join stir
  • Protesters will hold a ‘morcha’ against this ‘anti-Sikh’ Act till its logical conclusion
  • Shopkeepers downed shutters as mark of protest
  • The protesters submitted a memorandum to Nanded Collector

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Harjinder Singh Dhami #Maharashtra #SGPC #Sikhs #Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib


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