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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Punjab The Latest as it comes

Dera rejects Akal Takht edict

Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service
Sirsa, May 20

Dera Sacha Sauda today outrightly refused to accept the Akal Takht edict for closure of all deras in Punjab by May 27, declaring that they would not vacate the deras and legal course be adopted to protect their rights.
Besides it, the dera also decided that they would protest in a peaceful ways. The decision was taken at a meeting attended by thousands of dera followers at Mujlish ground here at 8 pm to decide the next course of action in view of the Akal Takht ultimatum.
Terming the decision of the Akal Takht as unfortunate, Dr Pankaj, spokesman of the dera, said there was no question of leaving the deras in Punjab. "We will fight legally against the registration of the case under Section 295-A (for hurting religious sentiments) in Bathinda against dera chief".
He said: "We have decided to adopt peaceful ways to maintain calm. We will organise a blood donation camp tomorrow to ease out the tension".
The tension has mounted in dera after the Akal Takht edict. Throughout the day, office-bearers and followers were anxious about the outcome of the verdict.
Meanwhile, the security has been tightened around the dera. While the security of the border areas of the district with Punjab and Rajasthan was handed over to the ITBP.

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