SGPC ex-general secretary held for hurting religious sentiments



Former general secretary of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Sukhdev Singh Bhaur was on Friday arrested from Mohali town, adjoining Chandigarh, following a case registered against him for hurting religious sentiments of a community, police said.

He was booked by the Punjab Police in Banga town in Nawanshahr district, around 85 km from here, following a complaint from the members of Ravidassia community who alleged that Bhaur had hurt their religious sentiments by saying unwarranted things against the community's religious leader Sant Ramanand.

Sources said that Bhaur, who made the comments in a recent speech, took to social media to regret his utterances and apologised to the community members.

Sant Ramanand, who headed the influential Dera Ballan in Punjab's Doaba belt, was killed in an attack at a shrine in Vienna in Austria in 2009. His killing had brought Punjab to a standstill due to violence by the Ravidassia community in Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur districts.

Bhaur had even remained acting-President of the SGPC earlier. He fell out with the Shiromani Akali Dal leadership in 2015 following sacrilege incidents in the state.

The SGPC, considered mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs, is a cash-rich organisation with an annual budget of nearly Rs 1,200 crore. It manages gurdwaras (Sikh temples) in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, including the holiest of Sikh shrines "Harmandir Sahib", popularly known as Golden Temple, in Amritsar.- IANS