New Delhi, Apr 21 (UNI) The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) today lent its support to the demand of Haryana's Sikhs for a separate Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee for the state as given to Delhi.
Since the 1920s, the historical Sikh gurdwaras in Haryana have been managed by the Shiromani Gurdawara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Amritsar, now under political control of the Akali Dal headed by Parkash Singh Badal.
However, a majority of the total eleven SGPC members from Haryana have been demanding a separate body for managing the affairs of gurdwaras in the state. For that, they have been seeking a separate Act on the lines of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, created by an act of Paliament in the 1970s.
''We are recommending to the state government to accept the demand which is quite legitimate,'' NCM Member Harcharan Josh told UNI.
He said about 15 lakh Sikhs of the state had been asking for a separate Gurudwara Act but successive governments have paid no heed to them and they have now approached the Commission with their demand.
''When Delhi with five lakh Sikhs can have a separate Gurudwara Parbandhak Committe, then why not Haryana with 15 lakh Sikhs'' he added.
Supporters of the demand point out that the matter regarding establishment of the Haryana Committee has already been approved by Parliament through Section 72 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966.
However, since 1966, none of the governments in Haryana cared to create a separate Gurdwara Management Committee.
They say the Congress party had in its last election manifesto approved the proposal but after formation of its government, no step has been taken in this direction.
The supporters point out that as a matter of fact, Section 72 is the package-deal for the Sikhs of Haryana which was created out of Punjab.
UNI NAZ/JSS RR HS1025