Friday, May 14, 2021
Home News Reports Fact-check: Is Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee asking devotees to enter Harmandir Sahib without a...

Fact-check: Is Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee asking devotees to enter Harmandir Sahib without a mask?

SGPC no longer asks to remove masks in the Gurudwara premises like they had done earlier, but they have not made it mandatory to wear masks and follow protocols either.

On April 18, India reported over 2,60,000 Covid-19 cases. The country’s healthcare system is overwhelmed, and it is essential for everyone to take precautions. However, some social media posts and WhatsApp forwards have suggested that Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara in Amritsar is not following the required protocol.

OpIndia’s investigation

We scanned through social media, mainstream media reports and live sessions of Harmandir Sahib from the last one week to see what the truth is. It has to be noted that the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) that takes care of the Akal Takht at the Golden Temple had refused to abide by the norms last year. There were several reports by news agencies like Dainik Bhaskar, The Print and others where it was mentioned that no one was wearing a mask at Harmandir Sahib.

In June last year, when religious places were reopened for the public, SGPC refused to follow the norms that made it mandatory for everyone to wear masks. They agreed to sanitisation but refused to ask people to wear masks inside the premises.

In September 2020, The Print visited Golden Temple and found out that no one was wearing masks and social distancing protocols were not being followed. Even the Police Officers at the premises were not wearing masks. When they asked a sewadar why he was not wearing a mask, he replied, “We have our God’s blessings, God won’t let anything happen to us.”

Punjab is facing a crisis amidst an increasing number of cases every day. In the last one month, the state has consistently reported over 2,000 cases. Since April 8, the number of new cases crossed 3,000 marks, and on April 15, the state reported over 4,000 cases. As the numbers are increasing, the state has imposed a night curfew in several districts.

On March 24, The Tribune reported that when their reporters visited Harmandir Sahib, the administration of the Gurudwara had left it to the ‘discretion’ of the devotees to follow Covid-19 protocols. It was not mandatory to wear a mask or maintain social distancing norms. This was the time when Punjab was reporting over 2,000 cases every day.

On April 2, the Amritsar administration under the Congress-led Punjab government met the representatives of SGPC. SGPC president Jagir Kaur, Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira, Commissioner of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill, SDM Vikas Hira, municipal corporation officials and some SGPC members were present at the meeting. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the plan to curb Covid-19 and following Covid-19 protocols in Harmandir Sahib.

After the meeting, Kaur issued a statement in which she urged the devotees to wear masks, use sanitisers and follow social distancing norms. SGPC chief secretary Harjinder Singh Dhami said that they have been motivating devotees to follow the protocols. However, he mentioned that no one would force the devotees to wear mask sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple. He said, “We have installed banners at various places around Golden Temple to inform the public about Covid-19 guidelines. We have asked our Sevadars on duty inside Golden Temple premises to motivate people to wear mask. We will not force mask-wearing inside sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple.”

No one was wearing masks on Baisakhi at Golden Temple

On Baisakhi, thousands of devotees visited Harmandir Sahib. News agency ANI shared some photos and videos of the Gurudwara in which it was clearly visible that no one was following the Covid-19 regulations.

Baisakhi was only ten days after the meeting between the Amritsar administration and SGPC.

It has been five days since Baisakhi, and the state is reporting over 4,000 cases. We scrolled through live videos of Harmandir Sahib on PTC’s Youtube channel to assert the situation and found that despite SGPC’s claims that they would motivate people to wear masks, only a handful of the people were wearing masks. Social distancing norms were not being followed.

Screenshots from Harmandir Sahib Live April 17, 2021

Source PTC Punjabi’s Youtube Channel

Screenshots from Harmandir Sahib Live April 18, 2021

Source PTC Punjabi’s Youtube Channel

Verdict

Though SGPC has announced that they would motivate devotees to wear masks and follow Covid-19 protocols, no one seems interested in following the regulations at the Sikh Holy site. SGPC no longer asks to remove masks in the Gurudwara premises like they had done earlier, but they have not made it mandatory to wear masks and follow protocols either.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

While Delhi govt was alleging inadequate oxygen supply, data show it was returning oxygen to suppliers, asked them to store the excess

Due to lack of storage plants and not enough demand, Delhi govt had returned oxygen and asked the suppliers to store them

Kamala Harris’ niece wants people to fight for Palestine to protect the LGBT community: Here is how they are treated in Gaza

Kamala Harris' niece Meena Harris has once again found herself in a controversial position amidst the Israel-Palestine conflict

Author attempts to defend Hemkunt foundation on receiving foreign donation without FCRA registration: Here is how she is wrong

Out of last 100 donations to Hemkunt Foundation on Ketto, 63 were foreign contributions amounting over Rs 1 crore

Australia: Hindus outrage at the racist attack after minced beef was found dumped in a community cricket pitch

About 2 kg of minced beef was found dumped on the wicket on the Hargrave Reserve Pitch at Modbury Heights in Adelaide, South Australia. The pitch is used by the local Hindu community.

The façade of Indian secularism: How the uncomfortable truth about realities of Sanatanis is hidden by Lutyens ecosystem

The neatly ordered world according to the Nehruvian idea of India is nothing more than brushing the rubbish under the carpet and pretending upon the cleanliness while ignoring the fact that someday the rubbish will overflow the bounds of the rug.

Israel: Here is why the average Hindu supports them

Israel has no history of animosity against India and her citizens and Israel has stood during India in thick and thin.

Recently Popular

Narcissism at its worse: After doubts were raised on the help being provided by Sonu Sood, actor gets called out for sharing cringe self-laudatory...

After making questionable claims on helping Covid-19 victims, Sonu Sood now shares cartoons that shows him as a God

Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who once hailed ‘Shaheen Bagh dadi’, wishes for safety for Israel, gets hate from Islamists and ‘liberals’ in return

Gal Gadot's prayer for peace in her home country Israel irks up 'liberals' who even accused her of being a genocide enabler.

Israel spy agency Mossad’s parody account pokes fun at Bollywood entertainer Swara Bhasker over her ‘#FreePalestine’ campaign

Swara Bhasker had posted a tweet calling Israel apartheid and terrorist state following the clashes at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

Rihanna gets cancelled by Islamists for saying that Israeli and Palestinian lives are equal

Several social media users slammed Rihanna for her Instagram post mourning the loss of lives on both sides during Israel-Palestine conflict

Watch: Israel Defence Forces destroy 14-floor terrorist hideout inside Gaza in a precision airstrike

"Terror organisations have been hit hard and will continue to be hit because of their decision to hit Israel. We'll return peace and quiet for the long term," Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,941FansLike
543,195FollowersFollow
24,300SubscribersSubscribe