Premis adamant, ditto Nandgarh
Tribune News Service
Salabatpura, May 22
The absolute bandh observed by all sections of society in Punjab on the call given by Akal Takht seems to have failed to ‘move’ the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda sect, as they maintained adamantly: “come what may, we will not vacate deras located here and in other parts of Punjab.”
On the other hand, Bhai Balwant Singh Nandgarh categorically stated that Sikh community would not rest till the deras run by Sacha Sauda sect, headed by Ram Rahim Gurmit Singh, were closed in Punjab.
The call for Punjab Bandh was given by Akal Takht on May 20 after Sikh clergy met there to take stock of the situation in the state in the wake of the alleged anti-Sikh Panth activities of Ram Rahim Gurmit Singh. Members of Sikh community were agitated over action of Ram Rahim Gurmit Singh in which he made an attempt to equate himself with the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh by dressing like him and performing baptizing ceremony in this town about 10 days ago.
Talking to TNS here today a group of Sacha Sauda sect followers, including a member of its 25-member committee, Gurbachan Singh, claimed that they would not vacate deras and would even sacrifice their lives to protect their place of congregation.
“If Constitution permits the closing of deras being run by any sect then the state government can force them to vacate the dera located here and in other parts of Punjab. But if the Constitution carries no such provision then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal should fulfill his constitutional responsibilities as Chief Minister of the state and should take all necessary steps to maintain law and order,” said Gurbachan Singh.
Alleging that followers of Dera Sacha Sauda are being targeted by vested interests for political reasons, he said what was being done to the followers of Sacha Sauda sect was a ‘revenge’ being taken from them by one political wing. He added that one political party had been harbouring ill feelings towards Dera Sacha Sauda followers for reasons best known to it.
“Both the Governor and the Chief Minister of Punjab should think about maintaining law and order in the state, which was being disturbed by Akal Takht”, he said and added that on one hand Badal had been allowing the members of Sikh community to brandish swords freely while on the other the followers of dera were not being allowed to enter even their ‘Satsang Ghar’.
Jathedar Nandgarh, while extending his thanks to all sections of society, including Hindu religious bodies, for showing solidarity with Sikh community by observing a complete bandh, said absolute bandh in Punjab had proved one thing that all sections of society were unhappy with the action of Ram Rahim Gurmit Singh.
He added that today’s bandh was not meant to throw normal life out of gear but to get the mandate of people of Punjab about the anti-Sikh Panth activities of Ram Rahim Gurmit Singh.