SGPC appeals to PM to halt Sotheby's auction of Guru's armour

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Amritsar, Mar 29 (UNI) Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today passed a resolution seeking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to halt the proposed auction of a piece of body armour of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh by the Sotheby's in London.

The resolution also urged the PM to make diplomatic efforts to get back the inscribed steel armour plate, set to be auctioned in Sotheby's Arts of the Islamic World Sale, on April 9 as also the Guru's plume which is in the British museum.

These relics should be ''restored to the Sikh community'' as these were part of its sacred heritage, the resolution said.

The Government should also make efforts to bring back the 'Kohinoor diamond' and the 'peacock throne' which were taken away from Maharaja Duleep Singh by the Britishers after the annexation of Punjab, the resolution said.

The SGPC also appealed to Dr Singh to have a ''fresh review'' of the ''black list'' containing names of Sikhs who had left the country during terrorism in Punjab.

The resolution noted that a number of these Sikhs wanted to come back home but the fear of being nabbed by the security forces was preventing them from doing so.

Earlier, in December SGPC Chief Avtar Singh Makkar had written to the Prime Minister in this regard to which the PM had replied that periodic reviews were being carried out by security agencies and the list was being updated accordingly.

The PM had also stressed that there were reports that Punjab terrorists were still trying to revive terrorist activities. In this context, Dr Singh had referred to the Shingar cinema hall blast in Ludhiana last year and stated that funding for this crime had come from overseas.

The SGPC resolution also sought Centre's intervention regarding the ban in French schools on headgear.'' The Indian government must impress upon the French authorities the sanctity of the turban for the Sikh community,'' it stressed.

In another resolution, the SGPC declared that Parveen Kaur, arrested in connection with the blast on Dera Sacha Sauda Chief, was ''innocent'' and should be set free.

Another resolution condemned the demand for a seperate SGPC for Haryana describing it as a ''conspiracy to divide the community'' The General House, which adopted all these resolutions by voice vote, also adopted the budget of Rs 386.72 crore for the next financial year, which is about Rs 56 crore more than the previous budget.

The budget was presented by SGPC General Secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur in presence of the SGPC chief at the meeting held at Teja Singh Samudri hall in the Golden temple complex.

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