Punjab Latest News as it Breaks - Tuesday 5th June 2007
Dera chief’s arrest Sant Samaj and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) sticks to hard line
The Gurmat Sidhant Pracharak Sant Samaj today served an ultimatum on the Central, Punjab and Haryana governments for arresting Dera Sacha Sauda head baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by June 18, failing which it will launch a peaceful protest by courting arrest.
On the other hand, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) stuck to its hardline stance, saying that in case the baba was not arrested it would ensure that the Akal Takht hukamnama was implemented in letter and spirit.
The two organisations held simultaneous meetings less than a kilometer apart along the Ferozepur road. While the Sant Samaj held its meeting on the premises of Gurdwara Nanaksar, Ferozepur road, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) held its meeting at the party office near Circuit House. Interestingly, both organisations had called a press conference 3 pm. The timing was later rescheduled.
Sant Samaj headed by Baba Harnam Singh Binderawale, who is also the chief of the Damdami Taksal, said only sants would participate in the protest. Accompanied by Baba Harbhajan Singh of Nanaksar Karelanwalay and Bhai Hari Singh Randhawaywale, Baba Harnam Singh had called the meeting today to chalk out the strategy to be adopted to enforce the hukamnama.
He said the meeting took exception to the delaying tactics of the Punjab and Haryana governments in taking action against the dera head.
On the other hand, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) at its political affairs committee meeting decided to hold a conclave of leaders and representatives of various panthic organisations on June 4 at Gurdwara Model Town here to chalk out the future course of action.
He blamed the Central government for delaying the completion of the CBI investigation against the baba on the charges of rape and murder.
Sikh bodies demand Badal's resignation
CHANDIGARH: Various Sikh bodies today demanded the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, saying the state government had "failed" in arresting the head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, recently embroiled in controversy for his reported blasphemous acts. A delegation representing different Sikh organisations met Punjab Governor S F Rodrigues here to submit a memorandum in this regard. Briefing the media, Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee chief Paramjit Singh Sarna said, "Badal has no right to continue as chief minister as he has not followed the religious edict issued by the Akal Takht." Sarna said Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had not been arrested despite a case being registered against him. He said that despite the edict last month demanding that centres of the Sirsa-based sect in Punjab be "vacated", no action had been taken on this also. Sarna said various Sikh organisations would hold a protest march from Bina Kangar in Bhatinda to Damdami Sahib in Talwandi Sabo on June 24. "After the march the organisations will chalk out the next course of action," he said. Sarna said the delegation included representatives of SAD (Delhi), DSGMC, SAD (1920), SAD (Rode), SAD (Amritsar) and radical organisations, including Damdami Taksal.
Punjab police book Daljit Singh Bittu Vice President Shirmonai Akali Dal Amritsar in sedition case
Fatehgarh Sahib: Fatehgarh Sahib police has registered a sedition case against Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) senior vice president Daljit Singh Bittu and others. Sources in police department revealed that the police has registered against Bittu for his provocative speeches during the protest march recently taken out at Fatehgarh Sahib against Dera Sacha Sauda chief. While the peace march planned up to Chandigarh was restricted to travel from Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib to Gurdwara Jyoti Swaroop here, the softening of approach attracted criticism from Sikh Sangat and they raised slogans of 'Khalistan Zindabad' and many other slogans.Some claim that attempt was made to ghearo the bus of 11 member committee, which submitted memorandum to the representatives of Governors of Punjab and Haryana.Sources said that during the protest march when a group led by SAD Acting president Sukhbir Badal just passed nearby the Bitu group to reach at Gurdwara Jyoti Swaroop, the followers of Daljit Bitu again started raising slogans. These slogans were shouted by Bitu group to provide just passing near by Sukhbir Badal and his followers. However Sukhbir Badal and other SAD leaders peacefully passed reciting 'Satnam Waheguru' and avoided confrontation and now case was registered against Bittu and others.It may be mentioned here that Jalandhar police had already registered a sedition case against SAD(Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann and 20 others in former Chief Minister Beant Singh statue desecration case. After the arrest of Mann, he was sent in judicial custody till June 14 .As per information, the case against Bittu was registered on the complaint of Fatehgarh Sahib SHO.When contacted Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Nilabh Kishore he confirmed that the police has registered case against Daljit Bittu and others under section 124-A,153-A, 341, 505 of the IPC. He said that other persons who delivered provocative speeches during protest march would be identified through videos , which is in the hands of the police.