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Teacher, from school managed by Sikh Committee in Delhi, suspended for organizing Saraswati Puja, management says ‘no tradition of idol worship’

Former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Harvinder Singh Sarna, and other Sikh leaders, including Parminder Pal Singh, general secretary of Jag Asra Guru Ott, opposed the execution of Saraswati Puja in the school. Funds should be spent on the promotion of the Sikh religion, the leaders opined.

On Friday, a teacher from a school in Delhi was suspended for performing Saraswati Puja on the occasion of Vasant Panchmi. The teacher who is employed by the Guru Harkishan Public School in Delhi to teach music to its students happened to organize Saraswati Pujan on January 25.

According to the reports, the school is managed by the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee which opposed the event and issued a suspension order against the teacher. Also, a separate committee has been formed by the management to investigate the matter after several Sikh leaders criticized the act.

Former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Harvinder Singh Sarna, and other Sikh leaders, including Parminder Pal Singh, general secretary of Jag Asra Guru Ott, opposed the execution of Saraswati Puja in the school. Funds should be spent on the promotion of the Sikh religion, the leaders opined.

“There is no tradition of idol worship in the educational institutions run by the committee. The school is attended by students of every religion. But, the school is run with the money provided by the management. The amount received from the Sikh management should be spent on preaching the words of Sikhs and their Gurus,” Sarna said.

He also alleged that the DSGMC has failed to follow the Sikh code of conduct. “Many cases which challenge the Sikh dignity have come to the fore,” he noted. DSGMC president Harmeet Singh Kalka blamed the music teacher and stated that the event was not organized by the school management but by the music teacher at her own level. “Sikh dignity is fully followed in the educational and other institutions related to the committee,” he maintained.

The teacher has been suspended with immediate effect. A three-member committee has been constituted for an impartial inquiry into the matter. Next action will be taken after the report of the committee is submitted to the authorities.

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