New Delhi: The standoff between Sikh clergy and Dera Sacha Sauda continued on Thursday with confusion prevailing over whether the sect had apologised to mediator Swami Agnivesh.
While there were reports early on Thursday that Swami Agnivesh had got a draft letter from the Dera that included an apology, the sect denied asking for forgiveness.
Swami Agnivesh said that the Dera used the word kshama or forgiveness in a draft peace proposal sent to him. Within an hour of the news doing the rounds, Dera convened a press conference denying the reports.
Pressure was mounting on Dera chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh to offer an apology for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs after marathon behind-the-scene talks between him and leaders of four faiths in Sirsa.
Akal Takht Jathedar Gyani Joginder Singh Vedanti said the channel of dialogue on various, including the edict on closure of Dera centres in Punjab, could be opened with the Dera if its chief came forward with a public apology for his action of allegedly having worn a dress similar to the one worn by Guru Gobind Singh.
The Sikh clergy led by SGPC has been demanding an apology from the Dera chief accusing him of defiling the memory of the 10th Sikh Guru by wearing his dress.
SGPC - the controlling body of all Sikh gurdwaras - and the Akal Takht want all the centres of the Dera to close down by May 27.
The Dera also took serious exception to SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar's statement that it would ensure enforcement of the Akal Takht's edict to shut down all Dera centers.