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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

News -

Indian Express Dera vs Sikhs Akal Takht dissatisfied with

The Akal Takht, the supreme temporal and spiritual body of Sikhs, tonight expressed dissatisfaction with the apology tendered by Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh, accused of blasphemy, saying the gesture was "a shrewed tactic to divert attention". In conflict with the Dera chief for his alleged imitation of Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, the five Sikh high priests, at a meeting here, said the social boycott of Dera followers announced by them would continue. A resolution adopted at the meeting said the apology given by the Dera chief to Guru Gobind Singh on Sunday night was "not graceful in language and spirit". The priests said the apology was "no more than a shrewd tactic of the Dera Chief to divert attention from the fact that he himself is not forthcoming with the apology but is instead trying to hide behind nameless followers". The Takht described the Dera chief as "shrewd and egoistic". "When the apology is sincere and from the core of the heart, then the Guru (Gobind Singh) is magnanimous to forgive. "If he has sincerely apologized, then the Guru would forgive him," the resolution said adding "but he has worded the apology in a cunning manner". "God always pardons the guilty", the Sikh priests said. The Akal Takht meeting presided by Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti said if the Dera Chief and his followers had expressed the apology from the core of their heart to Guru Gobind Singh, the creator of Khalsa Panth (Sikh religion) would forgive them. "If they have indulged in mischief, the Guru would take care of them," it said.

Punjab DGP reviews security arrangements for May 31 'Protest March'

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Punjab government has started making security arrangements for 'Protest March' to be taken out on May 31 from Fatehgarh Sahib to Chandigarh by Sikh organisations under the command of Akal Takht.
Thousands of Sikhs are expected to participate in the protest march being organised against Dera Sacha Sauda and its head Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh for his alleged act of blasphemy. Punjab had witnessed spell of violence after dera Chief projected himself parallel to Guru Gobind Singh on May 14 last.
Punjab DGP N.S. Aulakh today visited Fatehgarh Sahib to review security arrangements. The DGP met with Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Nilabh Kishore and other senior officials. Nilabh Kishore said that around 2,000 police personnel will be deployed on May 31 to ward off any untoward incident. He said that no one would be allowed to disturb peace.
Sources said that the DGP during his meeting the police officials directed them to pull up their socks and be prepared in view of the protest march. The visit of DGP was not made public and no media interaction was arranged. After the meeting, the DGP took lunch at Guest House of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib and he also interacted with the college principal Dr TP Singh.

Swami Agnivesh to meet Vedanti Tuesday morning

CHANDIGARH: Swami Agnivesh and other religious leaders will meet Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti in Amritsar on Tuesday to convey the letter of apology from Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, whom Sikh organisations have accused of committing blasphemy.

Swami Agnivesh said his delegation would call on the Jathedar before he presided over a crucial meeting of the apex "Singh Sahibs" at the Akal Takht, supreme temporal seat of Sikhs, located in the Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) complex.
Swami Agnivesh said that while a milestone was crossed in getting the Dera chief to apologise, the delegation would now appeal to the Akal Takht to withdraw its directions and cooperate in defusing the situation.
Swami Agnivesh said the apology was contained in an unsigned letter as the Dera management clarified, when the rapprochement efforts began, that the Baba never signed any communication. As per convention, the Dera chief's messages are issued by the secretariat, only on the official letterhead. "The very fact that the Dera has not contradicted Sunday's reports indicates that the document is official," Swami Agnivesh said.
The delegation's efforts are being supplemented by behind-the-scenes moves involving the Union, Punjab and Haryana Governments. Sources indicated that efforts were on to convince Sikh organisations against pressing for any direct action against the Dera or seeking a direction that would destablise the socio-political environment in the State.

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