Gujarat-based influencer Archana Makwana working under 'nefarious, hateful' agenda: SGPC

SGPC said the entire design of her behaviour and acts is clear from her social media activities.

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Accusing Gujarat-based social media influencer Archana Makwana, who is facing charges for performing yoga at the Golden Temple here, of working under "some nefarious and hateful" agenda, the SGPC said the entire design of her behaviour and acts is clear from her social media activities.

"First she violated 'maryada' at Sri Harmandar Sahib, hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community after posting objectionable photos or videos on her social media," the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), considered the ‘Mini Parliament’ of the Sikh religion, said.

Noting that after the manager of Sri Harmandar Sahib lodged a complaint against her and an FIR under Section 295-A of the IPC was registered by Amritsar police, Makwana apologised about the incident, "but even after her apology, she continued to post objectionable content on her social media instigating and provoking the people on public platform to stop visiting Gurdwara Sahib and ran a false propaganda against the SGPC".

"It seems Archana is working under some nefarious and hateful agenda," the SGPC, which has control over Sikh religious affairs and manages gurdwaras in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, including the holiest of Sikh shrines Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple, said.

"In a video today, she is claiming that no maryada-related guidelines have been displayed by the management of Sri Harmandar Sahib, while the fact is that a large screen is installed at the Ghanta Ghar entrance gate, from which she took entry. She is claiming that nobody stopped her from making videos or clicking photos, while the fact is she was stopped at the entry gate on June 21 by the on-duty sewadar, when she was filming her entry on a mobile of washing her feet in the Charan Ganga," it said, adding that she also "threatened" the SGPC management to withdraw the FIR lodged against her.

"If she felt apologetic, why she is continuing to post objectionable and hateful expressions towards the SGPC, the representative body of Sikhs," it said.

The SGPC also said that Makwana did not even pay obeisance at the Sri Harmandar Sahib or any related Gurdwara Sahib inside the complex on June 21, adding that she had visited Sri Harmandar Sahib on June 20 as well, when she paid obeisance and did some ‘sewa’, "but that does not give her liberty to come next day and violate the maryada".

It said that on her first visit, she was provided all possible guidance as sought, "but on June 21, she did not feel it necessary to seek any guidance and did objectionable act inside the complex".

In such a situation, the SGPC management said that it demands Makwana be arrested "to unearth the anti-Sikh nefarious design under which she seems to have been working and her case be decided in a court of law.

It said that the Sri Harmandar Sahib is open to people from all backgrounds without any discrimination, however, following the norms is mandatory for all visitors and devotees.

The SGPC said that the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib has instructed the ‘sangat’ coming to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandar Sahib to take care of ‘maryada' inside the complex, including keeping their phones switched off, while "artists who come to pay obeisance here should not use this holy place for the promotion of their films, songs, etc., but should get spiritual power from here".

The incident has sparked outrage among the Sikh community and Amritsar police have sent a notice to Makwana.

"If she does not appear by June 30, then two more notices will be sent to her. If still, she does not appear before the police, a team will be sent to arrest her," a senior police official said.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Amritsar, Darpan Ahluwalia said Makwana’s statement would be recorded first and she will be arrested only after that.

The social media influencer was last week booked by Punjab Police, under the IPC's section 295-A (deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class) for hurting religious sentiments for doing yoga inside the Golden Temple premises, on the SGPC's complaint. She was provided protection by Gujarat Police after she received multiple threat calls.

Input by IANS