A panel formed by Akal Takht on Sunday (12 March) said in its report that the trend of carrying the Shri Guru Granth Sahib to protest sites should be restricted, as per reports.
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh had formed the panel on 25 February following the Ajnala violence (23 February) where the holy book was used by a mob as shield while breaking through the barriers of a police station at Ajnala.
Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav had said that the police were forced to act with restraint on account of the presence of the holy book.
The mob was comprised of followers of self-styled religious leader Amritpal Singh and was demanding the release of one Lovepreet Singh, under arrest for kidnapping charges.
“The report has been prepared unanimously by panel members during Hola Mohalla celebrations on 6 March,” said Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad, coordinator of the panel and a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader.
The misuse of the holy book has triggered a debate among religious scholars. While some consider it a kind of sacrilege, sections of the Sikh community have urged the Akal Takht to intervene in the matter.
The head of the Akal Takht is the highest temporal seat of the Sikh religion. Giani Harpreet Singh had said on 25 February, “the committee was set up to discuss the carrying of Shri Guru Granth Sahib to the protest sites and other disputed places where apprehensions of disrespect and hurting the dignity of Guru Sahib remains.”
Several members of the community, including a former Bhindrawale aide, have criticised Amritpal carrying the holy book to the police station.
Whether the Sikh bodies are able to rein in the misuse of the holy book remains to be seen.
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