Gurdwara body row: Conflict escalates as Baljit Daduwal, Gurvinder Dhamija hit back at HSGMC chief
Five days after the ad-hoc body, constituted to facilitate the transfer of assets of 48 Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee controlled gurdwaras, sought the removal of member and former chief, Baljit Singh Daduwal and general secretary, Gurvinder Singh Dhamija for allegedly using indecent language in a gurdwara, the duo hit back on Tuesday.
Conflict in the faction ridden Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (ad-hoc) is escalating. Five days after the ad-hoc body, constituted to facilitate the transfer of assets of 48 Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee controlled gurdwaras, sought the removal of member and former chief, Baljit Singh Daduwal and general secretary, Gurvinder Singh Dhamija for allegedly using indecent language in a gurdwara, the duo hit back on Tuesday.
Dhamija on Tuesday wrote to Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Raghbir Singh, seeking celibacy and “dope” test of HSGMC president, Karamjit Singh.
“Karamjit Singh has been accused by several responsible persons from the panth, of immoral activities and consumption of intoxicants. As per Guru Maryada, a person indulging in immoral activities and consuming intoxicants cannot be a member or president of HSGMC. Hence, a committee should be constituted under the supervision of Akal Takht and the HSGMC president should be subjected to a celibacy and “dope” test by a government institution,” said Dhamija’s communication. He also sought the setting up of an inquiry committee to probe allegations of sacrilege (beadbi) levelled by the HSGMC president against him.
Daduwal seeks govt probe into embezzlement charges against him
Former HSGMC president Baljit Singh Daduwal, who himself was a contender for the chair of HSGMC chief, on Tuesday wrote to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, seeking a probe by a state agency into the allegations of embezzlements of ₹98 lakh of gurdwara fund, levelled by the incumbent president Karamjit Singh.
“If I am found guilty of misappropriating gurdwara funds, then I should be punished and expelled from HSGMC. However, if the probe reveals that the allegations of embezzling ₹98 lakh of gurdwara fund against me are false, then legal action should be taken against Karamjit and his supporters and their HSGMC memberships should be revoked,” he wrote. Daduwal who is a member of the HSGMC also sought an audit of the HSGMC budget and funds from 2014.
Never alleged embezzlement: HSGMC chief
HSGMC president Karamjit Singh when asked for a response on the two developments, said that he will reply at an appropriate moment to Dhamija’s allegations of immoral behaviour levelled against him. “If the celibacy and dope test have to be done, then it would have to be conducted on many others,” said Karamjit.
The HSGMC president, responding to the Daduwal’s contention, said that he did not accuse him of embezzlement of ₹98 lakhs. “During an audit conducted by the HSGMC, it was found that no bills were available for the money spent by the previous ad-hoc committee. What we are asking for is only the submission of bills to the Committee,” he said.
Daduwal, however, maintained that Karamjit Singh’s supporters have been accusing him of misappropriation of gurdwara funds during interviews given to news channels.
Power tussle in HSGMC
The HSGMC has a history of internecine struggles. It has seen frequent power struggles between its 2014 president JS Jhinda and senior vice-president DS Nalvi. While Daduwal was elected president in 2020 for two-and-a-half years, Jhinda in 2022 claimed to have been elected as chief at a general house meeting in Kaithal. Daduwal had termed his election invalid and unconstitutional. In December 2022, when Karamjit Singh was elected as the president of HSGMC (ad-hoc), Daduwal cried foul alleging that procedure was given a go by for elections.