Amritsar, Punjab: Plunging the Sikh ‘panth’ into a deeper crisis over pardon to Sirsa dera head, defiant Panj Pyaras asked the five Sikh jathedars to step down for hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikh community by taking decisions that were in violation of the ‘maryada’ (tenets) and status of the Akal Takht — the supreme temporal authority of Sikhism.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) was quick to term their decree as illegal, saying the suspended Panj Pyaras have no “legal right” to issue any such order.
Before seeking the resignation of the jathedars, the Panj Pyaras waited for them from 10.20 am to 11.55 am at the Akal Takht in the Golden Temple complex here. When nobody turned up, the Panj Pyaras issued a ‘gurmatta’ (religious decree), asking the jathedars to resign.
“A number of decisions taken in the recent past were against the norms that govern the Akal Takht,” said the ‘gurmatta.’
The ‘gurmatta’ also directed the SGPC executive to secure the resignation of the jathedars. If they fail to quit on their own, the executive should terminate their services, it added.
The Panj Pyaras had summoned the jathedars, including Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, for their role in granting pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a blasphemy case.
The Panj Pyaras, dressed in their traditional white flowing robes, waited for jathedars on the first floor of the Akal Takht building. When they failed to appear, the five held consultations among themselves and thereafter drafted the ‘gurmatta’.
“You have violated Sikh tenets by failing to appear in person before us. Neither did you send any message or gave us a written clarification, which clearly shows your intentions of having little or no regard for the religious codes that govern our institutions”, stated the handwritten ‘gurmatta’.