Days after 14 gurdwaras in Canada's Ontario province banned the entry of Indian government representatives, the Sikh Coordination Committee East Coast and American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in the United States have said that 96 gurdwaras in the country have banned the entry of Indian officials.
An announcement in this regard was made on Sunday at New York's Gurudwara Sikh Cultural Society right after a religious congregation organised to observe the death anniversary of Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, who were given death penalty killing former PM Indira Gandhi.
As per a Times of India report, the ban will apply to nagar kirtans, or religious processions, as well.
"Total 116 gurdwara management committees had participated in a teleconference on Saturday night and 96 of these gurdwaras had confirmed agreement to a proposal to bar entry of Indian officials in gurdwaras, along with representatives of RSS and Shiv Sena,"American Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee representative, Himmat Singh, said.
He claimed that some gurdwaras couldn't confirm due to technical glitches in teleconferencing. "We have been getting emails of many gurdwaras and numbers will increase further," claimed Himmat Singh. Surjit Singh, US president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), headed by Simranjit Singh Mann, also supported the resolution to ban entry of Indian officials.
"Indian government officials and any persons representing the interests of the Indian government, shall not be allowed to enter the US gurdwaras or to participate in any religious programmes," a statement released by these gurdwaras read.
The statement added: "Although this policy of restriction exists informally, it is due time for a formal declaration. This step is being taken not to restrict access to the Guru, but rather to ensure that the Gurdwara Sahib remains independent from the interference of corrupt officials who represent a government that for the last four decades has committed genocide against the Sikh community and has never had positive intentions in dealing with Sikhs as a separate nation of people."
Earlier, 14 gurdwaras in Canada's Ontario province have barred officials from the Indian government, consular officials and members of organisations 'who seek to undermine the Sikh nation and Sikh institutions.'