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Jhinda elected Haryana Sikh panel chief


Chandigarh, July 26 :

Despite opposition from Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and Amritsar-based SGPC, the newly set-up ad hoc committee of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) Saturday elected state Sikh leader Jagdish Singh Jhinda as its first president.

The meeting of the ad hoc HSGPC held in Kurukshetra in Haryana, 110 km from here, also elected Didar Singh Nalvi as the senior vice president. Other office bearers of the new body were also announced along with an 11-member committee.
At the meeting, which was held under the supervision of the district administration and police, six resolutions were passed, Nalvi said.

Through one of the resolutions, the ad hoc committee appealed to the Jathedar (chief) of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, to recall task force members and volunteers of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) from gurdwaras in Haryana.

The SGPC and Akali Dal had deputed task force members and leaders to the Haryana shrines to resist any attempt for forcible takeover of gurdwaras in Haryana.

While thanking Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for the setting up of the new committee in Haryana, the HSGPC resolved that it will follow all directives of the Akal Takht.

The Akal Takht had Saturday directed the Akali Dal and the ad hoc HSGPC to cancel their respective Sikh conventions scheduled for Sunday (July 27) and Monday (July 28). Both the conventions were called off following the directive.

The Akali Dal and the SGPC are locked in a bitter controversy with the Hooda government over the creation of the HSGPC. They have both strongly opposed the creation of the new panel for Haryana Sikh shrines.

The Haryana assembly had June 11 passed a bill under which a new committee would be set up to manage gurdwaras (Sikh shrines) in Haryana. The Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Bill, 2014, got the assent of the Haryana governor June 14.

The SGPC, the mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs, which controls gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, will lose control over 72 gurdwaras in Haryana with the new law.

The SGPC, which has a Rs.950 crore annual budget, controls majority of the gurdwaras in Punjab, including the holiest of all Sikh shrines ‘Harmandar Sahib’ (popularly known as Golden Temple) in Amritsar.