Gurudwara row: HSGMC members clash with police in Kurukshetra

Chandigarh: Members of newly formed HSGMC today clashed with police who resorted to lathicharge after they “forcefully” tried to take control of a gurdwara in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district where Amritsar-based SGPC task force personnel were gathered in large numbers.

As tension escalated, Police said at least five cops were injured in the violence and that the situation was brought under control within half-an-hour after the clashes erupted.

“As members of HSGMC made a forceful attempt to enter gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, police used water canons, tear gas shells and cane charge to disperse the agitated members,” Kurukshetra Superintendent of Police Ashwin Shenvi said.

“Police personnel were targeted by HSGMC members after they were stopped from marching towards the gurdwara… they pelted stones on security personnel and also indulged in scuffle,” he said.

The situation is tense, but under control, he said, adding that a heavy police deployment had been made to prevent any untoward incident around the Sikh shrine.

Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) Vice President Didar Singh Nalwi on his part alleged that police used force on members of the newly formed body without any provocation.

“Several HSGMC members were injured and some vehicles too were also damaged as HSGMC members were chased away by police,” he said.

He said the situation became tense when some 400 people owing allegiance to Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) reached the gurdwara.

“When the people from Amritsar-based SGPC were entering into the gurdwara, some persons started pelting stones. Suddenly police used force on HSGMC members who ran for cover,” he said.

Nalwi said Sikhs in Haryana will “not compromise” on the formation of HSGMC.

In another incident, members of the HSGMC took control of a historic Navin Patshahi Gurdwara at Guhla Cheeka in adjoining Kaithal district.

An HSGPC spokesman said they have started the rituals in the shrine. About 25 members of the Amritsar-based SGPC left the shrine without any opposition, he said.

The ad-hoc committee of HSGMC, which has 41 office bearers, wants to take control of about 30 Sikh shrines which are currently being managed by the SGPC task force.

The SGPC row has been escalating after Haryana formed its separate committee last month, yielding to the long-standing demand of the Haryana Sikhs

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