Haryana objects to assembly of SGPC supporters in state shrines

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Chandigarh, Jul 22: Haryana government on Tuesday objected to the reported convergence of Amritsar-based SGPC supporters in the state gurdwaras alleging that they were planning to forcibly retain possession of the shrines following the row over separate Haryana SGPC.

According to Haryana Finance Minister Harmohinder Singh Chattha, Amritsar-based SGPC supporters had converged in large numbers in key gurdwaras in Haryana to retain control over the Sikh shrines in the wake of Haryana Assembly recently passing a Bill for the formation of a separate body.

Haryana's Cabinet Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala hit out at Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, accusing them of "playing politics" over the HSGPC issue.

"Badal and his son (Sukhbir) say that they will not allow Haryana SGPC to take control of the shrines and dispatched their ministers, MLAs, MPs to Haryana... Can a state take up law in its hands by entering the territory of another state in this manner," Surjewala said.

With SGPC firm to keep the possession of the gurdwaras, SGPC leaders, SAD supporters are camping at Gurdwara Chhati Patshahi in Kurukshetra, Manji Sahib and Panjokhra Sahib and other key gurdwaras in Haryana, with police maintaining a vigil to prevent any untoward incident.

Surjewala, who had earlier written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding to withdraw the Centre's letter to Haryana government in this regard, said, "We want to tell Badal and the Union Home Minister that the country's constitution, the law of the land, maintaining peace and rights of citizens are supreme. You cannot enter another state's territory just because Congress is ruling that state."

In a letter to Haryana chief secretary, the Centre had asked the state governor to withdraw the assent granted to a Bill aiming to create a separate Sikh Gurdwara management Committee, saying the state assembly did not have legal authority to enact such a law and it was thus 'void'.


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