Akal Takht and SGPC pass buck to each other over ‘Clean Chit’ to Dera Radha Soami
H S Bawa
Jalandhar, August 2-
The severe criticism of ‘Clean Chit’ handed over to Dera Radha Soami Beas by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh on the issue of dismantling of Gurdwara Waraich, the Akal Takht and the SGPC have started passing the buck to each other.
Even as the Jathedar of Akal Takht is trying to drag feet on the ‘Clean Chit’ he had single-handedly announced in a hurry, the SGPC too is not ready to own the ‘Clean Chit’.
The exercise to shift the blame started Wednesday when Akal Takht Jatehdar rolling the ball towards SGPC said that he had acted upon the report submitted by SGPC president Jathedar Avtar Singh Makkar and prepared by a sub-committee constituted by SGPC president.
The Jathedar tried to pass the buck to SGPC as he said that the report had absolved the Dera of all the charges. He said that he only went ahead to announce the findings of the report and give a Clean Chit to Dera.
The Jathedar on Wednesday also sought to give another angle to the whole story by saying that it was the Panchayat of village Waraich which was to be blamed for handing over the Gurdwara site to the Dera. He reportedly also said that the Panchayat would have to face religious punishment for doing so.
However, on Thursday, Makkar seemed furious as he talked to ‘Yes Punjab”.
Perturbed over Giani Gurbachan Singh’s utterance on Wednesday, he said, “It was the Jathedar who ordered an enquiry which the SGPC sub-committee got conducted by a three member team. As the report came to me, I didn’t even open and read it. I just attached a forwarding letter with it requesting the Jathedar to read it and do whatever was needful.”
“It was up to him whether to accept the enquiry report or not. He cannot run away from the decision he has announced. How come he is holding the SGPC responsible for the Clean Chit he himself announced”, he said.
It is pertinent to mention here that Giani Gurbachan Singh had not only given a clean chit to Dera Radha Soami but had warned the panthic groups opposing the dismantling of the Gurdwara by the Dera not to disturb peace and harmony of the state. Interestingly, the Jathedar went a step ahead of just warning the panthic groups and termed them as ‘miscreants’. He was severly criticized for this.
Makkar went on to say, “It was for him to either accept the enquiry report or reject the same but he chose to accept as he seemed to be convinced with the report. How can he blame SGPC now? We order enquiries in SGPC too and when a report comes, I take a decision whether a report is to be accepted or not. If I am not convinced I order another enquiry.”
Jathedar Makkar said that Giani Gurbachan Singh seemed to be in a hurry to announce Clean Chit to the Dera.
“He even didn’t care to place the report in a meeting of five Sikh high priests even though he had said that it will be placed and considered in a forthcoming meeting of the Sikh high priests.”
“Where was the hurry to go and announce a clean chit, had we stopped him from discussing the report with other high priests?”, he asked.
Asked about Giani Gurbachan Singh’s objection that local Akali leaders and the SGPC member of the area were not taken into confidence by the probe panel while preparing the report, Jathedar Avtar Singh said the probe panel members reported what they gathered after touring the area.
“In fact the Jathedar not only acted in haste but he made it clear before the press that he was convinced about what was contained in the enquiry report. Announcing a decision on the basis of a report meant that you have accepted and approved it”, he said.
Jathedar Avtar Singh said , “It was his wording that no sacrilege has been committed. I didn’t say that because I had not gone through the report. The religious matters are his responsibility and he should have acted responsibly rather than dragging his feet over the matter now.”
Yes Punjab also rang up Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh who said that he was out of Amritsar, somewhere near Delhi and would not be able to comment unless he had read what was there in newspapers. “I would talk to you later”, he said and hung up.
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