Farooq trying to divide Sikh community: SAD
10 November 2001
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: State Akali Dal (SAD) Badal today blamed the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah for trying to divide the Sikh community in J&K. This allegation was leveled in a press conference by Mr Jeet Singh secretary general of SAD (B) here this afternoon. The Akali leader while responding to a question said every where the divide and rule policy is being pursued hence Dr Abdullah is also following it. He demanded that a Shrine Board on the pattern of Vaishno Devi Shrine Board be constituted to preserve the property of the Sikh Gurudwaras and Shrines in the State. SAD president, Mr H S Raina took serious exception of some ''self styled'' community leaders for their recent outbursts against the Minister of Sports, Mr Harbans Singh. He while challenging their locus standi in making such statements against the Sikh leader who is representing the community in the Government said they have no public base and hence should refrain from such acts. Expressing concern over their style of functioning, he said after remaining mum for some time they have again tried to create a confusion in the community and mislead it by making wild allegations against the Sikh leaders. He said to create a confusion in the community some people are being paid to keep the pot boiling. These leaders have since been rejected by the community as they have converted the Gurudwaras and other Sikh religious places into the political Akharas. Challenging the opening of Akali Dal office in a Gurdwara last week, he said the Gurdwaras are not the personnel property of any body but belong to entire Sikh community and hence no one has the authority to open offices there. Mr Raina said even Mahant Manjeet Singh has himself made it clear that Digiana Gurdwara and Dera Nangali Sahib are public property. He also alleged that these two disgruntled Sikh leaders are trying to grab the Guru Harkishan Singh School after opening a Degree College there by becoming the sole trustees. This School they said has been constructed through public donations. The two leaders are even creating hurdles in the renovation of Raghunath Bazar Gurdwara and demanded immediate dissolution of Gurdwara Prabhandhak Board and holding of fresh elections. The Akali leader said this Board has become non functional since its general secretary Mr Ranjit Singh resigned in protest against the presidentís dictatorial style of functioning. Besides the six members of the Board from Srinagar have also resigned in protest.