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Jalandhar: Amritpal Singh supporters create a ruckus at Gurudwara, break the chairs and sofa inside, and burn them

When Amritpal Singh reached the Gurudwara, he paid respect to the Takht and then passed a remark that the management has turned the Gurudwara into a palace by placing chairs inside the hall.

On December 13, Sikh supporters of preacher Amritpal Singh Khalsa of ‘Waris Punjab De’ created a ruckus at the Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Model Town, Jalandhar. They broke the chairs and sofas, took them outside, and set them on fire. The incident took place late evening on Monday during Amritpal Singh’s visit to the Gurudwara. Notably, he has been on a state-wide march, ‘Khalsa Wahir’ march.

A similar incident took place on December 9 at a Gurudwara in Biharipura village of district Kapurthala. At that time, Amritpal had issued a warning against using chairs inside Gurudwaras. He claimed that putting up chairs inside holy shrines is against “Maryada”, or the dignity of Sikhism. As per Dainik Bhaskar’s report, when Amritpal Singh reached the Gurudwara, he paid respect to the Takht and then passed a remark that the management has turned the Gurudwara into a palace by placing chairs inside the hall. He questioned, “Can we sit at the same level as Guru Sahib?”

Following the remarks, his followers started creating a ruckus. They tore the cushions of the sofas and took the furniture outside. They poured fuel on the pile of broken furniture and set it on fire. 

At that time, Amritpal was addressing the congregation inside the Gurudwara Hall. He was informed about the incident that was taking place after he reportedly asked his followers not to destroy the furniture. However, by the time he ‘urged’ them to stop, the furniture was already burnt. As per reports, he said he would have questioned the Gurudwara management committee in front of the Sangat why there were chairs inside Gurudwara Hall since it was against ‘Sikh Maryada’.

The Police were also informed about the incident. Gurudwara management committees officials and Police reached the spot, and a probe was initiated into the matter. SHO Sukhdev Singh said in a statement that the matter would be thoroughly investigated and appropriate legal action would be taken. As per Jagbani’s report, the committee did not file a complaint till late at night.

Amritpal’s statement against chairs

In a statement during his address to the congregation, Amritpal Singh spoke against the use of chairs inside Gurudwaras. He said, “The poor who are hungry do not think about chairs. All these are just excuses. Everyone is responsible for the revival of the Code of Conduct inside Gurudwaras and not me alone. If someone tells me something is happening somewhere, I tell them, ‘are you wearing bangles?’ If I go to any Gurudwara, I will either not pay my respects or pay respects only after removing chairs.”

Akal Takht’s stand on the use of chairs

It is notable that on several occasions, the issue has been raised by the Akal Takht and Sikh leaders not to allow chairs and sofas inside Gurudwaras. In November 2013, Akal Takht issued regulations against the use of chairs, sofas, and other similar sitting arrangements inside Gurudwaras. As per a report in The Tribune, Akal Takht banned the use of sofas, chairs, or benches installed for elderly people and differently-abled persons in the main hall of the Gurudwaras. It was termed as disrespect to the holy book.

Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh of Akal Takht urged the Gurudwara Management Committees to make arrangements outside the main hall for those who cannot sit on the floor. Jathedar spoke to the media on the matter and said that in 2009, it was decided to have two sitting arrangements inside Gurudwaras, but details about which sitting arrangement would be placed inside the hall and which would be allowed outside the hall were not discussed.

Notably, on April 20, 1998, Jathedar Ranjit Singh of Akal Takht issued a Hukumnama prohibiting Sikhs from using chairs and tables while partaking of ‘langar’, which was a common practice in foreign countries. The Hukumnama stirred controversy, and later, in October 1998, Five High Priests relaxed the regulations and allowed handicapped or sick devotees to use chairs and tables while partaking of ‘langar’.

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Searched termsAmritpal Khalistan
OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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