Probe finds many gaps, Takht gives SGPC a week to act against guilty

Sikh cler­gy­men dis­cuss panel’s 1,000-page re­port that holds the apex gur­d­wara body guilty of mis­man­age­ment on many counts

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - Htpunjab - Sur­jit Singh

AM­RIT­SAR : Ap­prov­ing the re­port of an in­quiry it had or­dered into the miss­ing saroops of Guru Granth Sahib, the Akal Takht on Mon­day asked the ex­ec­u­tive of the Shi­ro­mani Gur­d­wara Par­band­hak Com­mit­tee (SGPC) to act against the guilty within a week. The re­port was, how­ever, not made public.

The 1000-page re­port was sub­mit­ted by a panel led by Te­lan­gana High Court lawyer Ishar Singh and dis­cussed by the Panj Singh Sahiban (Akal Takht jathedar-led Sikh cler­gy­men) in a meet­ing held at the Takht sec­re­tariat here. The re­port holds the apex gur­d­wara body guilty of mis­man­age­ment on many counts.

Shar­ing the de­ci­sions taken in the meet­ing, Takht act­ing jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said, “The in­quiry has found that ledger of saroops is not main­tained prop­erly. The in­quiry found cut­tings and tam­per­ing in the clos­ing and open­ing ledgers of the saroops. Ledgers of 2013-14 and 2014-15 show 328 saroops (not 267 as cited by the SGPC) miss­ing in the SGPC pub­lish­ing house in 2015.”

“Apart from this, as many as 186 saroops were printed and is­sued to san­gat with­out au­tho­ri­sa­tion and bills. Th­ese saroops were printed with the ex­tra pages re­leased by the publicatio­n depart­ment for waste pages. From 2015 to 2020, a dif­fer­ence has also been spot­ted be­tween bills and re­ceipts ly­ing with the seller of the ma­te­rial used for print­ing,” he said.

The Takht jathedar said, “Not only ledgers were tam­pered with, the au­dit has not been con­ducted af­ter 2016. This is great dis­hon­esty and neg­li­gence. Af­ter go­ing through the re­port, the Panj Singh Sahiban have or­dered the SGPC to call its ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing on the short no­tice and take ac­tion against the of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees in­dicted in the re­port.” On the 2016 fire in­ci­dent that took place in the pub­lish­ing house at Gur­d­wara Ram­sar Sahib, the Akal Takht ex­pressed an­noy­ance over the then SGPC ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee and chief sec­re­tary’s fail­ure in or­gan­is­ing a cer­e­mony to ex­press re­gret for the dam­age to the saroops. The clergy has sought a clar­i­fi­ca­tion from those who were part of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee and the then chief sec­re­tary, he said.

In the fire in­ci­dent, as many as 14 saroops were dam­aged as per SGPC’S claim, but the Pun­jab Hu­man Rights Or­gan­i­sa­tion (PHRO) that un­cov­ered this mat­ter af­ter five years, claimed that the scale of the dam­age was much larger. But the jathedar did not make the re­port public, nor has he dis­closed the name of any per­son in­dicted in the re­port.

HT PHOTO

Sikh high priests dur­ing a meet­ing at the Akal Takht sec­re­tariat in Am­rit­sar on Mon­day.

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