Takht Patna Sahib head does not recognise Akal Takht supremacy

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Ludhiana, Jun 7 (UNI) Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib (in Patna), Giani Iqbal Singh, has refused to recognise the supremacy of Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism.

''I refuse to recognise the supremacy of the Akal Takht,'' he told mediapersons here today.

The Jathedar, who has been at loggerheads with the highest temporal seats for quite sometime following differences over certain religious issue, was not allowed to attend the meeting of the Sikh Head Priests at the Akal Takht yesterday. He was even roughed up when he tried to enter the room where Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vidanti was presiding over the meeting.

Criticising the treatment meted out to him yesterday, Giani Singh said as the Jathedar of an important Takht he had every right to attend meetings of the Sikh Head Priets. ''There is going to be no compromise with the Akal Takht,'' he declared.

Accusing Giani Joginder Singh Vidanti of ''religious misconduct'', he said he would bring out a white paper on the ''misdeeds'' of the Akal Takht head. ''I will expose the Jathedar,''he said.

The Sikh clergy categorically stated yesterday that only the Akal Takht could take decisions on religious matters concerning the entire community.

The other four Takhts---Damdama Sahib, Keshgarh Sahib, Patna Sahib in Patna and Hazoor Sahib in Nanded in Maharashtra could only decide on local religious issue that do not have an impact on the entire community, he added.

In fact the meeting of the clergy had taken strong exception to certain decisions taken in recent months by Giani Iqbal Singh. These included his controversal views on the ''Dasam Granth'' and his edict against former Akal Takht head Darshan Singh Ragi who had criticised the Takht Patna Sahib clergy for equating the Dasam Granth with the Guru Granth Sahib.

The meeting had issued a stern warning to Giani Iqbal Singh and nullified all his controversial decisions. The clergy sent a clear message to the Patna Sahib head that the supremacy of the Akal Takht cannot be undermined and he should only confine himself to ''local' religious issues.

UNI HS DB SYU RAI2057

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