AMRITSAR: Gurcharan Singh Tohra resigned as the President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee. He reportedly resigned to protest the dismissal of Manjit Singh Calcutta as the Secretary of the Temple Management Committee by an overwhelming majority of the executive on March 7.

Tohra is currently held in a prison close to Indo, Pakistan border at Khalra near Amritsar. He was released from Jodhpur earlier this month and lodged at Khalra.

Political analysts speculated that Tohra might be under pressure by the Central intelligence agents to agree to support the Rajiv Longowal accord, and the opening to the Sutle) Yamuna Link SYL canal.

Calcutta is close to Tohra and he met him after he was sacked.

Calcutta has been identified as a henchman of Home Minister Buta Singh and this move by Tohra might be to placate the intelligence agencies. Calcutta is one of the six Akali leaders who have been provided with round the clock squads of armed police guards ostensibly for their protection.

The other leaders are Bhai Darshan Singh Ragi, Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Sunjit Singh Barnala, Balwant Singh and Capt. Kanwaljit Singh.

There seems to be an intense pressure on Tohra and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to come to terms with the center which wants to restore an Akali government of its choice in the Punjab.

Simultaneously the Rajiv regime has a plan to remove Haryana’s elected Chief Minister from that state if the Akali’s agree to Centre’s terms on Punjab. Chief Ministers are the highest elected officials of a state but they can be dismissed from office by federally appointed titular heads of States the governor.

Congress (I) appointed governors have dismissed popular governments at the highest of their masters in the past.

Tohras resignation will be discussed in the next meeting of the executive scheduled for March 30. The resignation was submitted to Harinder Singh Tarantarni, the acting president of SGPC.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 24, 1989