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Call for action over damage to gurdwara entrance

Call for action over damage to gurdwara entrance
April 11
13:48 2019

JASWANT SINGH GANDAM & RAMAN NEHRA
India Post News Service

PHAGWARA: Alliance of Sikh Organisations, a conglomerate of 30 Sikh bodies, has demanded initiation of legal and religious action against Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Sevawale and others who were involved in the demolition of a portion of the centuries-old ‘Darshani Deori’ (main entrance) of the historical Gurdwara Darbar Sahib,Taran Taran.
It also demanded a probe into the role of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s general secretary Gurbachan Singh Karmuawala into the March 30 night demolition that has sparked outrage in the state.

Alliance spokesman Sukhdev Singh Phagwara, while talking to newsmen April 2, demanded criminal action against Jagtar Singh, head of Kar Sewa’s Tarn Taran faction, who led the demolition, and his followers who were involved.

Also a member of a group called Sikhs for Equality, Sukhdev Phagwara, said: “We have photo evidence from September 2018 that shows the ‘deori’ needed only minor repairs.”
He accused Jagtar Singh of having made a similar attempt in September 2018.
“This incident reminds us of 1984, when several other Sikh structures were similarly damaged right under the watch of the SGPC,” he alleged.
The group has lodged a police complaint over the incident, demanding booking of Jagtar Singh and others under Section 295-A of the IPC for “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs”.

Branding these Babas as ‘Bulldozer Babas’ destroying historic and heritage sites of Sikhs under the garb of flourishing ‘Kar Seva’ business, the Sikh organizations demanded immediate ban on such kar sevas by any Baba for saving Sikh heritage and history.
They also demanded constitution of a panel of Sikh heritage scholars,

historians, experts and panthic representatives to conduct a survey for listing structures dismantled so far and for saving the remaining ones from the commercial pursuits of such Babas.
They floated ‘Virasat Bachao Morcha’ (Save Heritage Rally) for safeguarding Sikh heritage and historic monuments.
They demanded restoration of the old look of the demolished part of the Darshani Deori.

They asked the SGPC chief to dismiss and get arrested Partap Singh, the manager of Taran Taran Gurdwara as his mere suspension would not solve any purpose.
They alleged that under the cover of Kar Seva, various Sikh heritage and historic sites, including the house of Bebe Nanki (sister of Guru Nanak Dev) at Sultanpur Lodhi, Thanda Burj of Fatehgarh Sahib, and Chamkaur Di Garhi, were earlier razed to the ground.

The alliance activists also staged a protest rally outside the demolished site at Taran Taran March 31.
Taran Taran town and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib were founded by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev.
Its Darshani Deori was got built by Kanwar Nau Nihal Singh, son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, around 1839.
Some 300 kar sewaks allegedly tore down a portion of the Darshani Deori on the night of March 30, sparking tensions in the area, and prompting SGPC chief Govind Singh Longowal to rush to the site and stop the criminal activity.

Even Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh of the Akal Takht had taken cognizance of the serious matter and directed the SGPC to investigate it and report it to the highest spiritual-cum-temporal Sikh seat.
But the other side maintained that it had done so after SGPC’s past resolution to repair and renovate Darshani Deori, even though the SGPC officials asserted that the resolution was put on hold.
The row triggered by the bid to raze Darshani Deori is still raging.

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