Sikh devotees furious over demolition orders of a gurdwara in Sangrur

June 22nd, 2009 - 11:33 pm ICT by ANI  

By Ravinder Singh Robin

Sangrur (Punjab), June 22 (ANI): A number of Sikh devotees are outraged due to Akal Takht’s order to demolish a portion of a controversial gurdwara due to having objection over its shape which resembles the Golden Temple of Amritsar.

The construction of the controversial Gurudwara located at Malerkotla has upset the Akal Takht as well as the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex body that manages all major Sikh shrines across the country.

On Sunday, Akal Takht ordered for demolition of domes and other portions of the controversial Sikh temple and also changing of the name of the gurdwara following a meeting conducted by over 50 Sikh religious bodies including the Jathedar of Akal Takht in holy Amritsar city.

Over a hundred of devotees have armed themselves with sticks to guard the gurdwara’s complex since the demolition orders.

Men, women, and even children, are patrolling the complex day and night, ready to even lay down their lives to protect their revered shrine.

“This is the organisation’s decision. We will not let anybody damage the temple and thousands of people from our area are ready to protect it. We will not tolerate it (destruction of gurdwara). For us Durbar Sahib is more important than Akal Takht … We all are guarding the temple…If anybody comes to destroy it, we will retaliate. We will protect it at any cost even if we have to lay down our lives,” said Balbir Singh, a devotee.

The roots of the controversy are 40 years old. The shrine, owned by Mastuana Dera, a Sikh sect headed by Sant Sadhu Singh, has been under construction since 1967.

The Mastuana sect comprises of Sikh followers, mostly from the lower-strata of society. Recent attempts to restart work on the incomplete shrine have provoked angry objections. (ANI)

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