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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Punjab the latest - Breaking News Today

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Clerics take middle path‘Gurmata’ neither rejects nor accepts dera apology

In an attempt to defuse the Dera Sacha Sauda imbroglio, the Sikh clerics today adopted a midway approach by adopting a “Gurmata” that neither clearly rejected nor accepted the apology tendered by the dera for hurting Sikh sentiments at Salabatpura in Bathinda district on May 13. Hardliners like Bhai Mohkam Singh, a spokesman for the Damdami Taksal, expressed their satisfaction over the draft of the “Gurmata”. The carefully worded one-page “Gurmata”, signed by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Giani Iqbal Singh, Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Giani Tarlochan Singh, all Jathedars of Akal Takht, Patna Sahib, Damdama Sahib and Kesgarh Sahib, respectively, and Giani Partap Singh, Head Granthi, Takht Hazoor Sahib, tried to assuage the feeling of the Sikhs in general and the hardliners in particular by using harsh words against dera chief Gurmit Ram Raheem Singh. It described the dera chief as “mischievous” and pronounced that the call to boycott the dera announced from Takht Damdama Sahib on May 17 would continue. The clergy asked the Sikhs, who had become followers of the dera, to approach nearby gurdwaras for seeking unqualified apology and join the mainstream of the Sikh Panth. It also emphasised the need to intensify “Gurmat Parchar” to check the activities of the dera. The “Gurmata” read that the dera chief, who indulged in blasphemous acts by attiring like Guru Gobind Singh, had sent an apology to Akal Takht through selfish dera men which clearly showed that he wanted to deceive the Sikh Panth with his “clever moves.” Using harsh language against the dera chief, the “Gurmata” said he had sent the deceitful apology to the Akal Takht in the wake of the protests by the Sikh Panth. However, the Guru to whom the apology was addressed was empowered to pardon but such acts are unacceptable (to Guru) if not made with pure intent. The working president of the Shormani Akali Dal, Sukhbir Badal, acted like a catalyst to defuse the crisis. He held a meeting with Jathedar Vedanti at the official residence of the SGPC chief in Ajit Nagar so that draft could be prepared in such a way as would be acceptable to the Sikh Panth and the dera as well. Later, Swami Agnivesh, who brought the letter of apology from the dera, also held a separate meeting with Sukhbir Badal. Swami Agnivesh and other religious leaders also met the Sikh clergy and urged them to accept the apology tendered by the dera. Earlier, the clergy held a meeting with hardliners, including Bhai Mokham Singh, a former militant, Kanwarpal Singh, a spokesman for the Dal Khalsa, and Narain Singh, convener of the Akal Federation. The high priests also directed the SGPC to engage senior lawyers to pursue cases pending against the dera chief. They also resolved to continue their efforts to finish the cult of the dera for indulging in “anti-Sikh” activities. However, the protest march from Fatehgarh Sahib to Chandigarh on May 31 for submitting memoranda to the Governors of Punjab and Haryana would remain unchanged as pronounced from Akal Takht on May 20.

New Delhi,

Feeling relieved over Akal Takht’s “reasonable stance” on the apology tendered by Dera Sacha Sauda, the Punjab government said today that the directive takes the issue from the level of physical opposition of the deras to an ideological plane of a campaign against “deraism”. Reacting to the decision taken by the Sikh high priests today, Harcharan Bains, media adviser to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, said here that the directive endorses a peaceful approach to the issue which was most significant. He said as far as cases against dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh were concerned, the directive was a call for the implementation of the Constitution provisions relating to CrPC. “All in all, it is a highly reasonable stance which cannot be faulted on any ground,” Bains said. Punjab government sources said it would be wrong to interpret the directive as rejection of apology given by the dera. Differing with interpretation that said that Akal Takht had rejected the apology given by the dera, they said the high priests had not taken a position to either reject or accept the apology as it had been sought from the Guru. They said opposition to “deraism” would be carried on at an ideological level.


Rejecting the apology tendered by Dera Sacha Sauda, the SAD(A) has demanded the arrest of dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Party vice-president and former MP Dhyan Singh Mand and general secretary Ram Singh while talking to reporters here today said the SAD was towing the line of the previous Congress regime of suppressing the Sikh community. Later, they held a meeting of party workers at Gurdwara Singh Sabha and handed over a memorandum to administration officials, demanding release of party chief Simranjit Singh Maan.
Sikh leaders detained, let off Amritsar,
Sikh leaders Kanwarpal Singh and Jasbir Singh Ghumman of the Dal Khalsa were stopped at a police naka near the Golden Temple when they were going to their office after meeting Sikh clergy today. According to Kanwarpal Singh, the police was looking for Narain Singh Jaura, convener, Akal Federation ,who also met the Sikh high priests with him. Narain Singh, who was arrested in connection with the jailbreak case , has been on bail. However, they were allowed to go on the intervention of Bhai Mohkam Singh, a spokesman of the Damdami Taksal who took up the case with SSP Iqbal Singh.

Sant Samaj rejected Dera Sacha Sauda chief apology

Fatehgarh Sahib,

Sant Samaj rejected Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh apology tendered by him for dressing like Guru Gobind Singh. A meeting of Sant Samaj in which some hardliners Shormani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Daljit Singh Bittu, Dal Khalsa's Satnam Singh Pounta Sahib also participated today held at Dera of Sant Hari Singh Randhawawale in Fatehgarh Sahib and it was presided over by Damdami Takhsal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa. Press conference of Sant Samaj was held around two hours behind the schedule. Sources said that Sant Samaj was awaiting top Sikh clerics decision about the future course of action against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. During the meeting of Sant Samaj, the five high priests met at the Akal Takht Secretariat within the Golden Temple Complex in Amritsar. Sources said that after getting indications from certain quarters, the press conference of Sant Samaj was held. After the press conference, Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa in the presence of print and electronic media directed other leaders of Sant Samaj not to talk to media about today's meeting. Talking to media persons after the meeting, Khalsa informed that Sant Samaj rejected Dera Sacha chief apology as he did not sign on apology letter. He said that Dera chief should himself apologize. He said that views of Sant Samaj held in meeting was sent to Sikh clergy through a letter but he refused to disclose the contents of letter. Sources said that Sant Samaj asked the Sikh clergy to reject the apology letter. Khalsa said that Sant Samaj would follow the directions of the Sikh clergy. He said that they would participate in protest march from Fatehgarh Sahib to Chandigarh on May 31 in peaceful manner. He appealed the people to participate in march in maximum number in disciplined manner. He also appealed to district Fatehgarh Sahib administration to make an elaborate arrangement on May 31. When asked if the Sikh clergy decided to withdraw decision of protest march, he said that Sant Samaj would follow their directions. Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, former Akal Takht Jathedar, who also participated in today's meeting told this correspondent that Sant Samaj is in touch with Sikh clergy and after getting clearance of them, the Sant Samaj announced to participate in protest march. When asked whether there is any pressure on Sikh clergy to deal with the case of Sacha Sauda, Khalsa said that Sikh clergy is supreme no one can pressurize it.

Akal Takhat Rejects the Apology from False Dera

“The Akal Takht has not pardoned dera … Chief … Ram Rahim … and announced to continue the social, religious and political boycott of dera and its followers and asked Shiromani Gurdawara Parbhandak Committee to enforce the decision of vacating deras from Punjab.” Meanwhile : “A delegation of 21 followers of the DSS arrived at the office of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the top management body of Sikh shrines, here to put across their apprehensions to its officials.” “As many as 2000 followers have sought protection from the raging Sikh community, who have demanded the eviction of DSS followers from camps in Punjab.” “They said that the dubious acts of DSS chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh were true.”

Supreme Court to hear False Deras False plea on June 4

The Supreme Court on Monday fixed June 4 to hear a petition filed by Dera Sacha Sauda seeking protection of their properties against an ultimatum given by the Akal Takht to vacate them and stop their activities.A Bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice DK Jain said there was no urgency in the matter for early hearing.The Dera approached the apex court last Friday after the Akal Takht, the highest religious body of Sikhs, served an ultimatum to the Punjab government to close down all the Deras in the state by May 27.Dera head Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was in conflict with Sikh clergy, on Sunday night tendered an apology for dressing like Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.The Dera, in a statement on Sunday evening said it has already expressed regret for the chain of events and "now in the best interest of peace and tranquility the Dera tenders an apology to Guru Gobind Singh".

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