SGPC chief says he will not appear before probe commission on sacrilege


The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Saturday announced that their chief, Kirpal Singh Badungar, will not appear before the commission probing all cases of sacrilege in the state since 2015.

The probe commission, headed by Justice (Retd) Ranjit Singh, has been formed by the state’s Congress government. Justice Singh is a former judge of former Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The SGPC made the announcement after a meeting in Patiala on Saturday. It said that since the the SGPC was the supreme body managing Sikh religious affairs, its chief could not be summoned by a commission.

The SGPC manages gurdwaras in Punjab, including the holiest of Sikh shrines Harmandar Sahib or Golden Temple in Amritsar, Haryana, Himachal and other places.

The commission, according to a report by IANS, had asked Badungar to appear before it on 8 October along with documents pertaining to the pardon granted by the Akal Takht to controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The SGPC was also asked to produce other documents.

The commission had also summoned Akal Takht Jathedar (chief) Gurcharan Singh. Shiromani Akali Dal leader Daljit Singh Cheema termed the SGPC decision as correct.

The state government headed by Captain Amarinder Singh had earlier rejected a report on incidents of sacrileges submitted by Justice Zora Singh Commission, which was set up by the previous Akali Dal-BJP government. It announced a new commission under Justice Singh to probe all incidents of sacrileges in the state since 2015 including three episodes in Faridkot in 2015.

The new commission was also tasked to enquire into the firing in Kotkapura on October 14, 2015, and also Behbal Kalan village in Faridkot district, in which two persons were killed.