SGPC to give Rs 20,000 per month honorarium to 9 Bandi Singhs

January 27, 2023 - PatialaPolitics

SGPC to give Rs 20,000 per month honorarium to 9 Bandi Singhs


The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided to give Rs 20,000 per month as honorarium to 9 Bandi Singhs (Sikh prisoners) serving long sentences in different jails of the country. A decision has also been made to take up the issue of non-release of Sikh prisoners despite completion of their jail terms to the United Nations Organization (UNO) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Speaking to the media after the meeting of the SGPC Executive Committee (EC) at SGPC office on Friday in Amritsar, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami said that the government’s injustice towards the Sikhs who have served jail terms for three decades is a major violation of human rights, and this voice will now be raised on the international platforms. He said that the EC has decided to give monthly honorarium of Rs 20,000 to 9 Sikh prisoners who have served long sentences and legal assistance as required. The 9 Sikh prisoners include Bhai Gurdeep Singh Khera, Prof Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana, Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara, Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara, Bhai Lakhwinder Singh Lakha, Bhai Gurmeet Singh, Bhai Shamsher Singh and Bhai Paramjit Singh Bheora. He said among them, Bhai Rajoana is already being given this honorarium.
Harjinder Singh Dhami said that since 1984, the SGPC has firmly stood with the struggling Sikhs and is committed to continue in future too. He informed that the signature campaign started by the SGPC for the release of Sikh prisoners will be intensified and Sikh jathebandis, educational institutions, Singh Sabhas and people working for human rights will be taken along and this campaign will be taken from door to door.

He said that the struggle for the release of Sikh prisoners will be fought at all levels and the governments will have to back down to the voice of Sikh community. SGPC President also said that for the legal remedies in this regard, a 6-member Legal Advisory Board has been constituted comprising advocates Puran Singh Hundal, Paramjit Singh Thiara, Baltej Singh Dhillon, Bhagwant Singh Sialka, Amarjit Singh Dharni and Arshdeep Singh Kaler, which will function to provide legal assistance to the families of Sikh prisoners.

SGPC President said the EC has also decided to file a writ petition in the High Court against Dera Sirsa head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is convicted for murders and rapes, taking strict notice of the government patronage being given to him. He said that inviting Ram Rahim, who is a criminal on parole, as a state guest by Haryana government is a big insult to the judiciary and at the same time giving him repeated paroles and waiving the sentence of 90 days is not acceptable in the civilized society. He said that the court proceedings against Ram Rahim in sacrilege cases are in process, so the possibility of him coming out and affecting these sensitive cases cannot be ruled out. He said that the SGPC will file a writ petition in the High Court on this serious matter and if necessary, the Supreme Court will also be approached.

About other EC decisions, Harjinder Singh Dhami said that in view of the Panthic services of Maharaja Ripudaman Singh Nabha, his portrait will be displayed in the Central Sikh Museum. He said Maharaja Nabha supported the Gurdwara Reform Movement and also contributed significantly in getting the Anand Marriage Act passed in 1909. Along with this, when the Saka (massacre) of Sri Nankana Sahib happened, Maharaja Nabha also actively participated in protests of tying black turbans on the call of SGPC. He said approval was also given to display a portrait of Baba Chanda Singh Kattu Wale at Central Sikh Museum, who contributed significantly to preaching Sikh faith.

He said the SGPC will also conduct an effective campaign for environment protection. He said that heritage forests have already been established in one acre land of different Gurdwara Sahibs under SGPC management. Taking this campaign forward, it has now been decided to plant trees in every educational institution and Gurdwara Sahibs under SGPC. Along with this, booklets will be prepared and distributed in lakhs to spread awareness about clean soil, air and water.

Punjab government act of changing Panj Piara health centres in Amritsar as Aam Aadmi clinics strongly condemned

The SGPC EC has passed a resolution strongly condemning the tampering with monuments related to Sikh history by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of Punjab. Bhagwant Singh Mann led Punjab government has been warned to desist from playing with the religious sentiments of Sikhs for political gain.

Speaking to the media, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami said that on the 300th anniversary of Khalsa Sajna Diwas, five health centres were established by the Akali government in Amritsar in the name of Panj Piaras (five beloved ones), which were changed as Aam Aadmi Clinics by AAP government of Punjab, in an insult to memorials of the Sikh community. He said that these five health centres in the name of Panja Piaras, have been declared as Aam Aadmi Clinics by Bhagwant Mann by putting up the boards with his picture, which has hurt Sikh sentiments. He said that in the history of Sikhs, Panj Piaras have great respect in the community after the Sikh Gurus and Bhagwant Singh Mann destroyed the history and heritage of Punjab. He questioned whether Bhagwant Singh Mann is above the Panj Piaras, who is raising these religious monuments in the name of his party. He said the SGPC warns the present government of Punjab to withdraw this action immediately and if it is delayed, the government will be responsible for increasing Sikh anger.

It is notable that on the occasion of the 300 year anniversary of Khalsa Sajna Diwas in 1999, these five health centres were built at different places in Amritsar by the Akali government in the name of Panj Piaras. These include Bhai Daya Singh Ji Urban Primary Health Centre, Mustafabad; Bhai Dharam Singh Ji Urban Primary Health Centre, Ranjit Avenue; Bhai Himmat Singh Ji Satellite Hospital, Ghanupur Kale; Bhai Mohkam Singh Ji Satellite Hospital, Sakatri Bagh and Bhai Sahib Singh Ji Government Hospital, Fatahpur.

International Sikh Advisory Board constituted

The SGPC has also constituted a 13-member International Sikh Advisory Board, with a scope of adding more members from other countries in future. The constitution of this board was made in today’s SGPC EC meeting.

Harjinder Singh Dhami said that presently Sikh community is spread all over the world and this advisory board will work on Sikh issues at the global level. He said that it was announced in the past to form this board, accordingly, a 13-member board has been constituted with a scope of adding more members in future.

SGPC President said among these 13 members include Inderjit Singh Bal, Toronto, Canada; Dalbir Singh, Yuba City, USA; Gurnam Singh Panwan, USA; Jatinderpal Singh, California, USA; Darshan Singh Dhaliwal Rakhra, USA; Balwant Singh Dhami, United Kingdom (UK); Dr Kanwaljit Kaur, UK; Gurmeet Singh Randhawa, Chairman, Sikh Council, UK; Harpal Singh, Khalsa Darbar, Canada; Rajbir Singh, Surrey, Canada; Nirmal Singh Chandi, Canada; Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba, USA; and Malkit Singh Dhami, Vancouver, Canada. He said representatives from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other countries will soon be included in this advisory board.

Present in the SGPC EC meeting included SGPC senior vice-president Baldev Singh Qaimpur, junior-vice president Avtar Singh Ria, general secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal, EC members Mohan Singh Bangi, Jarnail Singh Kartarpur, Surjit Singh Tughalwal, Bawa Singh Gumanpura, Bibi Gurinder Kaur Bholuwal, Gurnam Singh Jassal, Paramjit Singh Khalsa, Sher Singh Mandwala, Baba Gurpreet Singh Randhawa, Malkit Singh Changal, secretary Partap Singh, OSD Satbir Singh Dhami, additional secretaries Sukhminder Singh, Kulwinder Singh Ramdas, Gurinder Singh Mathrewal, Simarjit Singh, assistant secretaries Gurdial Singh, Gurcharan Singh Kuhala, Shahbaz Singh, and superintendent Malkeet Singh Beharwal.