“Stop Delhi Government from interfering in religious matters”

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday called for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s personal intervention to stop the Delhi Government from going ahead with its “dangerous move to interfere in the religious affairs” of the Sikh community.

In a letter to Dr. Singh, the ruling Akali patron-in-chief urged him to ensure that elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) are held in accordance with the letter and spirit of the directions of the Supreme Court.

His missive came against the backdrop of a clash inside the premises of Gurdwara Rakabganj in Delhi on Thursday in the run-up to next month’s DSGMC elections.

Expressing anguish over the incident, Mr. Badal wrote in the letter that the clash was a direct consequence of the chain of events unleashed by the “totally unjustified and provocative move of the Delhi Government to interfere in the religious affairs of the Sikhs through a proposed amendment to the electoral procedure in the DSGMC”.

He urged the Prime Minister to recall that he had drawn his attention to this very serious issue and had conveyed to him the apprehension in the minds of Sikhs all over the world that this could become a flashpoint of a series of unhappy events.

“Unfortunately, my pleas remained unattended. Yesterday’s events have further confirmed the fears in the minds of the Sikh masses that the Congress government in Delhi is bent upon creating problems for the community for narrow political ends. This is a dangerous development and does not augur well for future,” he wrote.

Earlier, he told reporters, “It is very sad…I would say most tragic that such an incident took place inside a gurdwara. The attackers neither kept the sanctity of the gurdwara nor of our democracy. It was the worst thing that could have happened.” - PTI

  • “Ensure gurdwara polls are held in accordance with the Supreme Court directions”

  • “Proposed amendment to election procedure totally unjustified, provocative”