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Monday, May 21, 2007

Punjab The Latest as it comes

2,000 faithful leave dera

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service
Salabatpura (Bathinda), May 21

Even as the state police authorities have made ‘foolproof’ security arrangements to meet any eventuality during the Punjab bandh call given by Akal Takht for tomorrow, more than 2000 followers of Sacha Sauda sect, who were camping in its local Dera, have left in the past 24 hours.
They are said to have left for undisclosed destinations despite the fact that two companies of Border security Force (BSF) have created a security wall in and around the Dera spread over 90 acres.
Also, the police force deployed in and around its premises has not been allowing any stranger or any new follower of Sacha Sauda sect into the local Dera.
A number of families, which are well-known in the region for their ‘staunch’ commitment towards the head of Sirsa-based Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, have also left for undisclosed destinations by locking their dwellings dotting Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot, Muktsar and other parts of Malwa region.
The Sacha Sauda sect wields a considerable influence in the Malwa region of Punjab.
The shopkeepers who had been displaying the photographs of the Sacha Sauda head at their business establishments have now removed those while some followers have erased or covered the slogan of Dera, which goes Dhan Dhan Satguru Tera Hi Asra.
However, a spokesperson for the Sacha Sauda, Dr Pawan Kumar, denied that the devotees were leaving the Dera and said they were going to protect their Dera and Naam Charcha Ghar in a peaceful manner.
He claimed that no follower of Sacha Sauda sect had ever indulged in any sort of violence before and they would not do so in future either as peaceful coexistence was one of the main principles of the sect.
Information gathered by TNS revealed that authorities had made security arrangements for about 55 deras and naam charcha ghars of Sacha Sauda sect located in Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar, Sangrur and other districts of Malwa region.

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