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SGPC to limit use of ‘Siropao’ in Gurdwara Sahibs: Harjinder Singh Dhami

Amritsar, June 4, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
In the Executive Committee (EC) meeting of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), a decision has been taken to continue annual scholarships to Amritdhari (initiated Sikh) students of the SGPC managed educational institutions. The EC has also given approval to provide education fees of the Sikligar Sikh children in the states including Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Speaking to the media at a press conference after the EC meeting at SGPC office on Saturday, SGPC President S. Harjinder Singh said that with a motive to keep the Sikh youths connected to Sikh heritage and identity, annual scholarships are given to Amritdhari students and this will continue.

  1. Harjinder Singh said that every year the SGPC gives scholarships to Amritdhari (initiated) Sikh students. “Last year, we gave about Rs 63 lakh to Amritdhari Sikh students as scholarships. SGPC gives scholarships of Rs 3,500 to students of Class VI to X, Rs 5,000 for Class XI to XII, Rs 8,000 for graduation level and Rs 10,000 for the post-graduation level students”, said S. Harjinder Singh.

He said that for a long time now the SGPC has been serving for the education of Sikligar and Vanjara Sikh children living outside Punjab, under which their fees will be paid this year too.

“A total of about 150 students living in Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh will be benefitted by providing the facility of school fees”, said S. Harjinder Singh.

SGPC President said the EC took an important decision to limit the use of Siropas (robe of honours) in the Gurdwara Sahibs.

“In future, rules will be formed for giving Siropaos inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Gurdwara Sahibs, under which, Panthak tradition will be implemented. The VIP dignitaries like government officials or prominent persons reaching the Guru’s house will be honoured at the concerned information centres or the rooms of managers and offered refreshments as per the maryadas of the Guru’s house. At large, the use of Siropao will be avoided”, said S. Harjinder Singh.

He said the SGPC EC also decided to display a portrait of former SGPC member Jathedar Joginder Singh Panjrath at the Central Sikh Museum besides tributes to senior Akali leader Jathedar Tota Singh, who passed away recently.

The SGPC EC also paid tributes to two Pakistan based Sikh traders Bhai Kuljeet Singh and Bhai Ranjeet Singh, who were recently shot dead near Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan on May 15, 2022 and demanded from the Pakistan take care of minority Sikhs becoming insecure in their country. SGPC EC also appreciated the Sikhs of Peshawar for strongly carrying out protests against the brutal killings of two community members without any fear despite being a minority in Pakistan. S. Harjinder Singh said we demand from the Governments of both the countries Pakistan and India to protect the interests of the minority Sikhs in Pakistan.

Taking serious note of the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab, SGPC President S. Harjinder Singh demanded from the Punjab Government to find a concrete solution to this problem as there is panic among people.

  1. Harjinder Singh strongly condemned the decision of Punjab Government of ridiculing the issue of security of the protectees and said it caused unrest among the people.

To a query, SGPC President S. Harjinder Singh said, “SGPC is capable of providing security to Giani Harpreet Singh, Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, the highest temporal authority of Sikhs, Giani Raghbir Singh, Jathedar of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib and other high priests. After the government withdrew its security arrangements, SGPC has deputed its armed security.

About the Z security offered to Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib by the Centre government, SGPC President said that Singh Sahib (Jathedar) has given its answer, which is absolutely correct as per Panthak tradition.

“It has been Panthak tradition of Khalsa Panth that ready and armed Amritdhari Sikhs are deputed in security with Jathedar Sahib and I believe that this long coming Maryadas has been restored in the form of security of Singh Sahibans (high priests/Jathedars)”, said S. Harjinder Singh, adding that the Punjab Government should protect the interests of the people.

SGPC President strongly condemned the government for turning Amritsar city in a police cantonment in view of the commemoration of the June 1984 Holocaust Week.

“By doing so, the government is creating an atmosphere of fear while this day is very serious and painful for the Sikh Qaum (community). Every year on Ghallughara Day, the Qaum congregates to commemorate its martyrs and therefore, the government should not present this occasion as fearsome”, said S. Harjinder Singh. SGPC President said a large number of pilgrims attained martyrdom in this brutal attack by the then Congress Government of India.

Those present in the EC meeting included senior vice-president S. Raghujit Singh, junior vice-president Principal Surinder Singh, general secretary S. Karnail Singh, EC members S. Sarvan Singh, S. Surjit Singh, S. Jarnail Singh, S. Balwinder Singh, S. Harjap Singh, S. Gurinderpal Singh, S. Amarjeet Singh, Bibi Gurpreet Kaur, Baba Gurpreet Singh, secretary S. Paramjit Singh, S. Partap Singh, S. Sukhminder Singh, S. Kulwinder Singh, S. Balwinder Singh, S. Gurinder Singh, S. Nirvail Singh, superintendent S. Malkeet Singh, in-charge S. Shahbaz Singh, S. Gurcharan Singh, S. Gurnam Singh, S. Lakhbir Singh, and S. Tarsem Singh.

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