CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Assembly elections are over, but trouble for Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) does not seem to end. Now, the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of the Sikhs) has asked Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) to inquire into some Sikh candidates approaching the Dera Sacha Sauda and asking for their support in the just concluded Assembly elections.
Sources said that the Akal Takht Jathedar (high priest) Gurbachan Singh has issued these directions to the SGPC with immediate effect.
The Akal Takht has named not only SAD candidates but also Sikh candidates of other parties.
The matter came to light as the Dera openly supported Shiromani Akali Dal and a few party candidates have also openly announced that they would support the Dera in holding religious congregations for its chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in Punjab.
High priest Gurbachan Singh has written a letter to the SGPC asking for the list of Sikh candidates who sought the Dera's support.
The letter further states that the SGPC should make a subcommittee to inquire into the matter. No Sikh can be in touch with the Dera at any cost, according to the Akal Takht.
On May 17, 2007, Akal Takht issued an edict directing social, political and religious boycott of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh and his followers for imitating Guru Gobind Singh.
In 2015, the Dera chief was acquitted in the case by a local court.
Sources said that the candidates who took the support of the Dera include Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Jagdeep Singh Nakai, Sikander Singh Maluka, Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu, Dilraj Singh Bhunder, Amit Ratan
and Harpreet Singh all of SAD.
The Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee (DGMC) President Manjit Singh GK has shot off a letter to Akal Takht and SGPC President Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar demanding that action be taken against all
erring Sikh leaders who took the support of the Dera.
"Our stand is clear. Sikhs cannot have any kind of contact with the Dera. We have always spoken against him and are not even in favour of his movies. He has serious criminal cases going against him,’’
said Manjinder Singh Sirsa, general secretary of DGMC.
Both these leaders are also office bearers of the Delhi unit of SAD.