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DSGMC opens office in Amritsar to run parallel drives in Punjab

DSGMC opens office in Amritsar to run parallel drives in Punjab

DSGMC president Harmeet Singh Kalka appointed former All India Sikh Students Federation leader Manjit Singh Bhoma as chief of the drives

In competition with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) on Wednesday opened its office at Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Niwas here to run parallel ‘dharam parchar’ drives in Punjab.

While inaugurating the office in presence of Haryana SGPC president (ad hoc) Baljit Singh Daduwal and others, DSGMC president Harmeet Singh Kalka appointed former All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) leader Manjit Singh Bhoma as chief of the drives.

Kalka once again targeted the SGPC and its controlling party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), saying both the bodies have failed to save the Sikhs and Punjab from degradation.

“Through this drive, I hope we will be able to counter the massive conversion of Sikhs to Christianity by connecting the young generation of Sikhs to their faith, heritage and history,” he said.

“Thanks to the failure of the SAD and SGPC, we could not save our races. This drive, under the leadership of Bhoma, will surely control the damage,” he added, while criticising the SGPC for ‘costly’ treatment at its hospital.

Many are viewing this as an attempt of the DSGMC — believed to be close to the Bharatiya Janata Party — to make inroads into Punjab even as the SGPC is trying to enhance community contact in DSGMC-dominated Delhi.

The SGPC manages affairs of the historic gurdwaras in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pardesh and Chandigarh, while the ones in Delhi are managed by the DSGMC.

The SGPC already has its office in Delhi which is run by its Sikh Mission, but it intensified the activities of religious preaching and started establishing contact with the local community members after the SAD lost its control over the DSGMC with Kalka and other elected members parting ways.

The SGPC also launched a free bus service to facilitate Golden Temple ‘darshan’ for the sangat in Delhi.

Kalka and aides have formed the new Akali faction called the Shiromani Akali Dal-Delhi State, following an understanding with the BJP-led Centre. The SAD had parted ways with the BJP during the farmers’ agitation. The changed equations soured relations between the two gurdwara bodies.

DSGMC joins ‘Insaaf Morcha’ at Behbal Kalan

The DSGMC on Wednesday joined the ‘Insaaf Morcha’ held by the families of 2015 police firing victims and Sikh organisations to protest against the delay in investigation.

Last week, the Morcha had declined the state government’s request to give more time to complete the investigation in Behbal Kalan police firing case and called a gathering on August 16 to decide further action plan. Two Sikh protesters — Gurjeet Singh of Sarawan village and Krishan Bhagwan Singh of Niamiwala village in Faridkot district — were killed on October 14, 2015, when they were protesting against a sacrilege incident.

Kalka extended his support to the Insaaf Morcha and assured them to joining the gathering. He also visited the gurudwara at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village, from where a bir (copy) of Guru Granth Sahib was stolen in 2015 and later visited another gurdwara at Bargari, where torn pages of that bir were found after four months.

Kalka said the incidents of sacrilege and police firing were the ‘biggest tragedy’ for Sikh community as those who called themselves the government of ‘panth’ failed to deliver justice. “Even the Congress failed to do it in five years. The Aam Aadmi Party, which had claimed to give justice within hours, has appointed a person who defended Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in sacrilege cases as advocate general of Punjab. They have betrayed the people of Punjab more than anyone,” he added.

“The DSGMC president has extended support to the Morcha and promised all kinds of help required. He has also assured to join the August 16 gathering called by us,” said Sukhraj Singh, son of Bhagwan Krishan, whose sit-in entered the 223rd day on Wednesday.

(with inputs from Parteek Singh Mahal)

©Hindustan Times

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