Two Sikh priests back Panj Pyaras

Counter SGPC stand in row over Sacha Sauda

Amid crisis over the flip-flop on the pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, two prominent Sikh leaders on Saturday backed the demand of the suspended Panj Pyaras to remove the five Sikh high priests “in the community’s larger interest.”

“Jathedars (of five Takhts) should resign immediately as it is in the larger interest of Panth. Else, the crisis will deepen further,” former Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti said.

“The decision of the Panj Pyaras (the beloved five of the Guru) must be accepted as it was as per ‘gurmata’ (religious decree),” said Vedanti, who had in 2007 as the then Akal Takht Jathedar issued an edict against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief for attiring himself as the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.

He also said the decision of the SGPC to suspend the Panj Pyaras “was not a right move.”

In an unprecedented move, the Panj Pyaras of the Akal Takht had on Friday asked the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to remove the Jathedars of five Takhts after they failed to turn up in the Golden Temple complex to explain their flip-flop on the pardon to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Though SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar later said the suspended Panj Pyaras have no “legal right” to issue any religious edict, alleging that they had “created furore and restlessness in the community.”

On Wednesday, the Panj Pyaras had summoned the Jathedars of five Takhts to explain their decisions on Dera Sacha Sauda chief. The move by the Panj Pyaras had invited their suspension by the SGPC.

SGPC executive member Karnail Singh Panjoli said “the Jathedars of five Takhts should resign as the Sikh community was hurt by their decision of pardoning the Dera chief.”

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