Akal Takht holds Maluka tankhaiya, hands out punishment

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Akal Takht holds Maluka tankhaiya

Holding Punjab cabinet minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Sikander Singh Maluka guilty of religious misconduct, the Akal Takht today declared him ‘tankhaiya’ (guilty of religious misconduct) for distortion of Sikh Ardas at a function held to inaugurate his election ofice in Rampura Phul segment in Bathinda district.

He will, as punishment, have to perform ‘sewa’ (service) at the Golden Temple’s ‘joda ghar’ (shoes handling section) for three days besides donating Rs 51,000; and wash utensils for a day and donate Rs 31,000 at Takht Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo. Later, he will have to get conducted an ‘akhand path’ (prayers) at the Golden Temple.

He will also undertake “sewa” for a day at Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, and deposit Rs 31,000 in the gurdwara ‘golak’. On completion of the ‘tankhah’, he will perform ‘ardas’ to seek atonement.

Maluka was summoned by Akal Takht for distortion of ‘ardas’ during the opening of his election office at Rampura Phul after a video of the event, with a priest chanting Ramayana ‘shlokas’ in the imitation of ‘ardas’, went viral on the social media. A probe panel was set up. It held Maluka accountable.

As two SGPC members were also present on the occasion, Akal Takht chief Jathedar Gurbachan Singh has reportedly asked the SGPC chief to “procure the entire video clip and identify those present at the function”.

Maluka said he would abide by the Akal Takht directions. He and SGPC member from Bathinda Major Singh had both sent a clarification to the probe panel.

Giani Gurbachan Singh said: “Major Singh submitted an apology to Akal Takht, but no clean chit has been given to anyone present at the event.”

Those anointed “Jathedars” by radical Sikhs too have asked Maluka to appear before Akal Takht on January 9.

Meanwhile, a five-member committee will scrutinise the “objectionable references” pertaining to Sikhism in books written by Harjinder Singh Dilgir.

Those on the committee are Dr Roop Singh, secretary, SGPC; Harbhajan Singh Manawa, additional secretary, Dharam Parchar Committee; Dr Inderjit Singh Gogoani, Partap Singh and Harsimran Singh.