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Pardon to dera chief was unjustified: Longowal

The Tribune 2018-10-12 01:30:00

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal (Center) addresses mediapersons in Amritsar.

Gobind Singh Longowal, SGPC president, on Thursday broke his silence on the controversial pardon (later revoked) granted to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in 2015.

“Asin nahin chahwange ke eho jehi maafi diti jave” (we can never endorse such a pardon). Only the then SGPC president (Avtar Singh Makkar) can reveal why the dera chief was pardoned or why they justified the move,” he said.

Laying to rest speculation that Giani Gurbachan Singh would be removed from the post of Akal Takht Jathedar, he said, “No such move is on the cards in the near future.”

The then SGPC led by Makkar had endorsed Akal Takht’s September 24, 2015, ‘gurmata’ (religious decree) of granting pardon to the dera chief for his “blasphemous” act of imitating Guru Gobind Singh in 2007. The SGPC had spent Rs 90 lakh on advertisements, urging the community to accept the clergy’s decision.

Meanwhile, the SGPC has asked the state government to grant “holy city” status to Sultanpur Lodhi, a city in Kapurthala district, during the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak next year.

The SGPC held a two-day meeting in this regard with Sikh intellectuals, members and representatives of the Sant Samaj and various Sikh organisations at Teja Singh Samundri Hall.

Longowal said Guru Nanak had spent about 14 years of his life in Sultanpur Lodhi and started “udasi” (long travel) from here.

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