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After protest by Sikh community, retired Sikh IAS officer appointed new administrator of Takht Hazur Sahib Nanded

AMRITSAR : Retired IAS officer Vijay Satbir Singh was on Friday appointed as the administrator of Nanded's Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib, replacing Nanded Collector Abhijit Rajendra Raut. The Maharashtra Government made this decision following objections raised by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) over appointing a non-Sikh as the board administrator.

The announcement of the appointment was made by Manjinder Singh Sirsa, a BJP leader and former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. He extended his gratitude to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP's national president JP Nadda for their intervention, which led to the resolution of the matter.

Notably, a delegation of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee on Friday held a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai. The delegation's primary demand was the appointment of a member from the Sikh community to the board of Takht Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurdwara located in Nanded.

Former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president Harmit Singh Kalka and Jagdeep Singh Khalon were part of the delegation.

“With their due support, the issue has been resolved. The Government of Maharashtra immediately ordered the appointment of Dr Vijay Satbir Singh Ji a retired Sikh IAS officer as administrator of Sri Hazur Sahib. Thanking @Dev_Fadnavis ji for swift action,” Sirsa said in a tweet.

Earlier, the appointment of Nanded Collector Abhijit Rajendra Raut as the administrator of the Gurdwara Board of Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib by the Maharashtra Government had sparked a controversy. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) strongly objected to this decision, passing a resolution denouncing Raut's appointment and urged the government to reconsider the same.

SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami expressed deep concern over the appointment of a non-Sikh as the administrator of a sacred Sikh institution.

In a letter addressed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Advocate Dhami conveyed the Sikh community's dissatisfaction with the decision to appoint Raut as the administrator of the Gurdwara Board.

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had described Raut's appointment "as an assault on the fundamental aspects of Sikh identity".