Amritsar — The head priest of Akal Takht, Jathedar Kirpal Singh said here on Tuesday night that the decision to rebuild the Akal Takht was in fact taken by the five Sikh head priests immediately after the Army action in June last year.

Endorsing the announcement of Mr. G. S. Tohra, SGPC president, that the Akal Takht, the highest temporal and spiritual seat of Sikh religion would be rebuilt, the head priest told PTI in an interview that the decision was conveyed to the Government on June 17 when Kar Seva was entrusted to Baba Harbans Singh of Delhi for its reconstruction.

He claimed that the Union Agriculture Minister, Mr. Buta Singh had agreed to this decision contained in the 14point proposals on June 17 but he failed to fulfill this commitment as he could not get approval of the late Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

Jathedar Kirpal Singh who hailed the decision as “representing the Sikh sentiments’’ however made it clear that the final decision about its rebuilding would have to be consented by a conclave of religious heads, Sikh organizations, Sant Samaj and Singh Sabhas before starting the demolition and construction work.

He hinted that the Sikh head priests would meet here shortly to decide about calling this conclave. The SGPC would send the invitations for it, he added.

Giani Kirpal Singh added that he had called Jathedar Harcharan Singh Mahalon to Amritsar.

The head priest stated that Mr. Tohra met him on Monday night and told him that to rebuild the shrine was his personal view as well as the collective view of the executive committee of the SGPC which passed a resolution in this respect in August last year.

He referred to some congress Sikh leaders criticizing the decision. “They are congressmen first and Sikhs afterwards and they have no right to meddle in the Sikh affairs,’ Kirpal Singh angrily remarked.

He was sure that the Sikh community as a whole would appreciate the decision.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1985