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Punjab: SGPC suspends 51 workers in Golden Temple langar scam case for allegedly siphoning Rs 1 crore

It is alleged that the suspended workers didn’t deposit the full amount received after selling the leftover food of the langar

On the 4th of July, Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Harjinder Singh Dhami suspended 51 workers in the alleged ‘Langar Scam’. The suspended workers are accused of siphoning Rs 1 crore while running langar (community kitchen) at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The suspended staffers include managers, supervisors, storekeepers, and gurudwara inspectors who were involved in langar service. As per the information, they were mandated at the Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee Langar Hall. 

The scam was exposed by the SGPC flying squad, an investigation wing. They found out that the alleged scam continued for more than three years from April 2019 to December 2022.

Notably, the Gurudwara Committee has set up a tendering process to sell leftover food, including stale ‘chapattis’, rice, and vegetables to industrial units that convert it into cattle feed. It is alleged that the suspended workers didn’t deposit the full amount received after selling the leftover food and they also tampered with the accounts to hide the financial irregularity. 

Responding to the suspension order, SGPC President Dhami said, “Irrelagurities or negligence will not be tolerated in Gurudwara management. The sentiments of people are attached to gurudwaras and respecting those religious sentiments is the prime responsibility of gurudwara employees.”


Additionally, the committee also announced new appointments. Bhagwant Singh Dhangera was appointed as the general manager of the Golden Temple. Additional manager Nishan Singh has been given the responsibility of managing sarais (inns).

The action comes days after the accounts division of the SGPC detected administrative irregularities in running ‘langar’ and an embezzlement of Rs 1 crore in the langar. 

Earlier, the Committee suspended two storekeepers from the community kitchen. It was alleged that they didn’t deposit the money received after selling stale food in the Gurudwara committee’s account.

When the news of the alleged scam first broke out, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann raised question marks on the management of the Gurudwara Committee. Taking to Twitter he wrote in Punjabi, “If I say it, then you will say that I said so. It will lead to exposing our own fault. Rest will be cleared by the president about this scam.” (translated version)

Responding to CM Mann’s criticism and allegations in the langar scam case, SGPC President Dhami said, “I am not going to get into details. Our flying department has done an inquiry into the matter. Once they submit their report, we will take appropriate action. I want to ask CM, what kind of new politics you have started? Does Shiromani Committee is obliged to ask you before taking any steps?  Are you going to give directions to us? “

He further added, “We do not shy away from taking any action. Once the report is submitted, we will take required action”.

The ongoing feud between SGPC and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann

Earlier on the 18th of June, Punjab CM Mann announced that the state government would alter the Sikh Gurudwara Act, of 1925 to ensure free transmission rights of Gurbani from the Golden Temple.

Previously, the PTC network had the authorisation to broadcast Gurbani from Harmandir Sahib by the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC), the highest board for Sikhs. It is important to note that the PTC network is owned by the influential Badal family of the former chief minister of Punjab and union minister Prakash Singh Badal. 

The announcement by Punjab CM claimed to target the network’s monopoly and create a level playing field for all television networks. The Shiromani Akali Dal, the SGPC, and the Badal family all came out strongly against the CM’s proposal.  The announcement infuriated SGPC Dhami who took to Twitter to express his disagreement. 

Tagging Punjab CM Mann, Dhami stated, “Sir, do not try to interfere with the religious affairs of the Sikhs. Sikh affairs are related to the sentiments and concerns of the Sangat (Sikh community) in which governments have no right to interfere directly. You are talking about adding a new section by amending the Sikh Gurudwara Act 1925.”

The Sikh Gurudwaras Act of 1925, which Punjab CM Mann proposed to amend, was legislated in British India. It legally defined Sikh identity and brought Sikh gurudwaras under the control of an elected body of orthodox Sikhs.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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

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