SGPC executive barred from attending events for a month - ECAS Punjab

SGPC executive barred from attending events for a month

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Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 18

Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, in the presence of five Sikh high priests, today criticised the SGPC's existing and 2016 executive bodies for negligence which led to misappropriation of 328 'saroops' of Guru Granth Sahib.

16 officials fail to turn up

The 16 SGPC officials and staff members, who were held accountable for the misappropriation of 328 'saroops', did not turn up at Akal Takht for atonement, as asked by the SGPC executive during its meeting held on September 5.

Pronouncing religious punishment from the podium of the highest Sikh temporal seat, the SGPC executive was barred from participating in any religious programme or making any public address for one month i.e. till October 17. However, the members can attend the annual budget session which has been scheduled for September 28. The SGPC executive members were also directed to sweep the street leading to the Golden Temple 'deori' from Gurdwara Saragarhi Niwas for one hour for three days.

Giani Harpreet Singh said it was "shameful" that the staff members misappropriated the 'saroops' under the nose of the SGPC and no efforts were made to check the ledgers of the Publication Department that prints and manages the holy scriptures.

Admitting administrative carelessness, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal submitted a public apology. Longowal said though they were not being called up, they had unanimously decided to seek pardon for the lapse in managing the 'saroops'.

As revealed in the probe report, Longowal sought pardon while admitting that the officials and staff members issued the 'saroops' without putting them on record and pocketed the 'bheta' (the amount charged at the time of issuing the 'saroops').

About skipping the 'pashchatap path' (remorse prayers) following the May 2016 fire incident at Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib that left several 'saroops' destroyed, Giani Harpreet Singh termed it a "bajjar galti" (serious mistake).

The then SGPC executive members appeared for penance. All of them submitted a public apology. Then senior vice-president Raghujit Singh Virk was questioned for the lapse of not performing remorse prayers. All of them were directed not to occupy any position in the SGPC for the next one year and the SGPC executive was directed to enure compliance of directions. The members were also directed to listen to 'sehaj path' and perform 'sewa' at a local gurdwara as per their physical capacity.

The existing SGPC executive was also directed to conduct a session of 'sehaj path' prayers at Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib, where the incident had occurred, and another one at Akal Takht.

In another case, SGPC member Gurinder Pal Singh Gora, former Dharam Parchar committee members Rattan Singh Jafarwal and Sarchand Singh were strictly warned against having any association with former SAD minister Sucha Singh Langah. Langah was excommunicated by Akal Takht on October 5, 2017, after his objectionable video with a woman had gone viral.

from The Tribune

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