SGPC, ‘Panj Piaras’ heading for showdown

Amritsar, Dec 31 (IANS) The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the ‘Panj Piaras’ (chosen ones of the Gurus) are heading for a showdown over the issue of removal of jathedar (chief) of the Akal Takht and four other high priests.

With the ‘Panj Piaras’ setting the January 1 (Friday) deadline for the removal of Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbhachan Singh and four other high priests who are chiefs of four other ‘Takhts’ (religious seats) of Sikh religion, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar has called for an emergency meeting of the SGPC’s executive committee to discuss the fallout of the entire episode.

The ‘Panj Piaras’ recently called for the removal of the Sikh high priests over the issue of the high priests ‘pardoning’ controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in September this year.

The ‘pardon’ order of the Sikh high priests was withdrawn in October by them following pressure from Sikh organisations and community.

After the ‘Panj Piaras’ asked for the removal of the Sikh high priests, the SGPC transferred them but two of them refused to obey the orders.

“We have called for an emergency meeting of the executive council on Friday (January 1) to discuss this matter. We have sought the intervention of Sikh institutions and Sikh intellectuals to help resolve the issue,” SGPC president Makkar said.

The ‘Panj Piaras’, after setting the January 1 deadline, have said they will announce the next course of action on January 2.

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