SGPC to ask Pak to unlock historic Lahore gurdwara

: Amid reports that some gurdwaras in Lahore have been illegally occupied by fundamentalists, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Monday said it would write to the Pakistan government to take note of the development and open the Sikh shrines for sangat.

After presiding over a meeting of the SGPC executive committee, the top Sikh body’s chief Harjinder Sing Dhami said that recently the matter of encroachment of Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj Bhai Taru Singh and Gurdwara Shaheed Singh Singhnian has come to light, regarding which a letter will be written to the government of Pakistan and Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), a statutory board of the Pakistan government.

ETPB along with fundamentalists last week had locked Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj Bhai Taru Singh in Lahore for worship.

He said that in view of the martyrdom days of Sahibzadas (four sons of Guru Gobind Singh), SGPC has decided to prepare simple langar (community kitchen food) at gurdwaras from December 15 to 31.

During these days, sweets will not be prepared inside the langar and honouring with Siropaos (robe of honour) will be completely prohibited, he added.

Dhami said the SGPC has also decided to publish booklets in different languages to convey history of the martyrdom of Sahibzadas to masses.

He said an illustrated booklet on Sahibzadas namely ‘nikkian jindan vadda saka’ will also be released in Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil and Urdu after examination by scholars.

The SGPC executive has also passed a resolution condemning the efforts of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government to implement Uniform Civil Code in the country under the policies of “suppressing the minorities”.

SGPC president Dhami also questioned the silence of Iqbal Singh Lalpura, chairperson of National Commission for Minorities (NCM), on the issue of UCC, accusing him of becoming a part of BJP’s politics instead of representing minorities.

The SGPC executive strongly condemned the attempts to challenge the decision of the Akal Takht Sahib at Takht Sri Patna Sahib and incident of burning effigy of jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib.

Dhami said that the signature campaign started by the SGPC for the release of Sikh prisoners is getting a great response from the country and abroad as over 2.40 lakh proformas have been filled by people in different gurdwaras and online.

The executive also approved the formation of a sub-committee on Central Sikh Museum, World Class Library and Literature House.

It has also been decided to display a portrait of Didar Singh Bains, famous Sikh businessman of the USA, at the Central Sikh Museum.