Bhai Balbir Singh, former ‘ardasia’ of Sri Darbar Sahib, was reinstated by the newly constituted SGPC body led by Kirpal Singh Badungar. However, Badungar refrained from commenting over former SGPC body’s decision of removing Balbir Singh.
While announcing the reinstatement of Ardasiya, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president told newspersons here, “I don’t want to comment on the decisions taken by the then management. But now I want to inform that the services of Bhai Balbir Singh have been restored.”
Bhai Balbir Singh was in news due to his rebellious attitude against the state government for its failure to curb the instances of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib.
On-duty Balbir Singh had then refused the traditional “siropa” to Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal during the latter’s visit on June 3. The SGPC had transferred him to Machhiwara, but he never joined his new assignment. He had been regularly visiting Sri Darbar Sahib, but as a devotee.
With a middle-class background, Balbir has a liability of repaying a home loan of Rs 13 lakh. He was concerned about payment of EMIs (Rs 20,000) as he has not been getting salary since June.
In January and then in June, Balbir Singh had refused to give siropa to Sukhbir and Badal senior respectively during their separate visits to the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Darbar Sahib .
Badungar also sought to put the controversy over wearing of caps by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani during their visit to Sri Darbar Sahib, on the eve of the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar to rest. He said, “A lot of people come to Sri Darbar Sahib for paying obeisance in their respective religious dresses. The issue of wearing a cap by Modi is unwarranted. Anybody can pay obeisance at Golden Temple bearing his or her religion.”