Salabatpura (Bathinda), Dera Sacha Sauda in Salabatpura village was sealed by the police again to prevent any untoward incident during the protest march to be organised by the Khalsa Action Committee from Dina Kangar to Talwandi Sabo via this village on June 24.
As followers of the Sirsa- based Dera Sacha Sauda have started arriving here in small numbers, the police has been leaving nothing to chance to prevent violence between them and members of Sikh bodies organising the march.
Police sources said Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, who were providing security cover to the Dera premises, had been deployed to man the check points set up in a radius of 200 yards of the boundary wall of the Dera. Not only this, Salabatpura crossing check point, Jalal bus stand check point and Dulewala check point, which earlier were manned by thePunjab Police, had been handed over to the BSF.
The number of followers, who were inside the local dera premises, rose to 800 today from 500 three to four days ago. The authorities , which had allowed buses to ply from this village, had again ordered to discontinue it.
Sikh groups against bypassing Salabatpura
Moga, Even as the district administration has suggested a new route from Dina Sahib here to Damdama Sahib in Bathinda district for the proposed Khalsa protest march to be held on June 24, Sikh organisations are determined to take the earlier route, involving Salabatpura.
The district unit of SAD (A), headed by Simranjit Singh Mann, held a meeting at Gurdwara Bibi Kahan Kaur here today and resolved not to change the route of the march fixed earlier.
The new route, suggested by the administration, has villages Pakharwad, Raunta, Kaur, Singh Wala, skipping the Salabatpura link.
District president of the SAD (A) Harbans Singh Daudhar said they would follow the earlier route.
Assembly Session Excesses: CM’s offer for setting up panel
Chandigarh, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today gave an open offer to Congress MLA and leader of the opposition in the Punjab assembly Rajinder Kaur Bhattal to set up a five-member committee to bring in his notice any case of “ political vendetta” and police excesses.
“ I will immediately take remedial measures and action if any wrong has been done by the police or anyone else”, Badal said in the house, responding to the issue raised by Bhattal regarding police excesses and the registering of cases against Congress workers.
Bhattal said excesses against premis, followers of Dera Sacha Sauda, were being committed in the countryside, pro-“Khalistan” elements were trying to create trouble in the state, the law and order situation had deteriorated and Congress activists were being booked in false cases. She referred to the cases of certain dalits killed at various places, including Nurmahal, Majitha and Amritsar . She also referred to the case of a person whose ear was lopped off right in the presence of the police in Lambi, the home constituency of Badal. “ We will not tolerate the ‘Akalisation’ of the police and the administration”, she said.
Replying to the issue raised by Bhattal, Badal said that he was a politician who believed in minimising enmity with opponents. He asked the Congress MLAs to name any Congress leader who had been put behind bars. “ Our party is ready for a full discussion on this issue in the house”, he said.
Intervening at this stage, BJP MLA Jagdish Sahni said Congress leaders were now talking about former Congress MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa. He urged the Congress MLAs to recall the activities of Dimpa during the tenure of the Amarinder Singh government. “ It was Dimpa’s rule from Amritsar to Jalandhar. He had hijacked the entire system. His writ used to run everywhere. He plied several buses without any permit. He used to grab property. He used to bully everyone. Now you are trying to defend Dimpa”, alleged Sahni, pointing towards the opposition benches.
Badal said he had been disturbed by the Nurmahal incident regarding the committing of suicide by three persons. “ I had told the SSP concerned to take action against those found guilty in this regard. The SHO was under suspension”, he said. “ No innocent person will be caught and no one involved in any crime will be spared”, Badal asserted. He sought the cooperation of the opposition to make the state better.
Sarna dissociates from march
Amritsar, Fissures have appeared in the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) with its Convener Parmjit Singh Sarna, president Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) dissociating himself from the proposed protest march to be taken from Gurdwara Dina Kangar to Takht Damdama Sahib on June 24 .
As many as 35 members of the DSGMC today compelled Sarna to part from the hardliners, including Daljit Singh Bittu , Kanwarpal Singh and Mohkam Singh , vice-president SAD( Amritsar), a spokesmen of the Dal Khalsa and the Damdami Taksal respectively who are determined to take out Khalsa March in protest against blasphemous activities of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh .
The DSGMC members suggested to Sarna to wait for the decision of Akal Takht. The decision of Sarna has come as shot in the arm for the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and the SGPC.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal himself approached the Sant Samaj with a request not to take the extreme step since the state government was already making efforts to take legal action against the Dera chief.
Memorandum to SSP
Sangrur, A deputation of various Sikh organisations, led by SGPC member Nirmal Singh Gharachon and saint Buta Singh Gurthali Wale, today submitted a memorandum to the SSP in his office here, demanding the arrest of “killers” of Kanwaljit Singh.
The bodies also sought the release of Kulwinder Singh, Ravinder Singh and Ram Singh, who were allegedly implicated by the Sunam police in a false case. — TNS
Takht to decide on apology: SGPC chief
Fatehgarh Sahib, Chief of SGPC Avtar Singh said here today that the SGPC would follow whatever directives were issued by Akal Takht over the latest apology letter sent by the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda.
Speaking to the mediapersons at a local college, the SGPC chief said the SGPC wanted that the matter should be resolved and peace be restored. He said the reaction of Akal Takht on the letter was likely to come within the next few days.
Sant Samaj has asked for the program to keep the protest against the jhootha sauda going from the Five Singh Sahibhan Jathedars
To disscuss apology Singh Sahibs five Jathedars will meet on the 27th
Khalsa March As Per Schedule
Members of Khalsa Action Committee has made it clear that program of holding Khalsa March is not effected by reports of fresh appology submitted by dera sauda on late evening of June 20. The march is scheduled to leave Dina Kangar for Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib on 24 June, 2007
Fresh Appology by Dera
News reports came that dera sauda has submitted fresh appology. This appology is beleived to be from Guru Panth. A sealed letter is handed over to SGPC President and DSGMC President by un-named dera followers. This letter is meant for Jathedar Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib. Earlier Jathedar Joginder Singh left for a foreign visit today, therefore more is expected to come clear in coming days only.
Conditional Arrest Warrant Against Dera Head
A Conditional Arrest Warrant Ordar has been issued by Bathinda court against dera head. Permission of Punjab Government is required for the arrest of dera head as per this order.
19 June, 2007
Sant Samaj Stepped Back After Letter from Jathedar Vedanti
As members of Sant Samaj were not arrested by the Govenment Sant Samaj staged a dharna at Traffic Lights of Phase 7, Mohali, members of Sant Samaj hold a march from Fatehgarh Sahib after perfoming Ardas to court arrest in protest regarding dera issue. Durring dharna Badal personally came to receive their memorandum and requested them to end their dharna but dharna continued till it was ended after receiving a letter using name of Akaal Takhat. This letter was brought by Avtar Singh Makkar, President of SGPC, and it was said that this letter is from Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti. In this letter an apeal was made to end the dharna in intrests from Panthic Unity. The deceision of ending the dharna was never expected in the it came. Large Section of people and even some sections of Sant Samaj strongly criticized the way in witch dharna was lifted. Some sources say that whole process was more or less preplanned.
Protests planned for Vedanti's trip to USA
Fremont, CA (KP) - Several Panthic Jathebandees have decided to protest Joginder Singh Vedanti, Tarlochan Singh and Roop Singh’s upcoming trip to California. The Badal installed Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, the Jathedar of Kesgarh Sahib and the Joint Secretary, respectively, will arrive in California on June 29 to oversee the construction of a new Gurdwara to be called 'Anandgarh Sahib'. Several Panthic activists in California declared, Vedanti has damaged the Panth severely. By taking a worthless role in the case against the ‘Sacha Sauda’ Baba, Vedanti has embarassed the Panth.
When Vedanti previously visited Fremont Gurdwara Sahib, he was questioned about his dubious deeds. He was questioned as to why Saadh Dhanwant was forgiven after paying 80 thousands rupees; why the controversial movie- ‘Bole So Nihaal’ - was given the ‘ok’ after money was exchanged; why RSS Agent, Rulda Sinh was honoured with a Siropaa; why the actions of Ashutosh and Bhaniaaraevala were not investigated; why the issue of Mann Pehova’s several rape allegations was ignored after taking money from him, among other things.
Late Night Music Sessions
The Jathedaars of the Takhts were also accused of listening to Hindi music. In the past, several Singhs from Fremont visited a house in Chicago unannounced, where Joginder Singh Vedanti, Tarlochan Singh, Ranjit Singh and Iqbaal Singh were staying. The Singhs were very surprised when they arrived; they heard very loud Hindi music coming from the house. When the Jathedaars were questioned about it, they avoided the question and steered the conversation to a different direction.
When the Sangat asked the Jathedaar about these shady dealings, he replied that he will give the answers in writing; to this day, no answers have been received by the Sangat. California Panthic leaders say this time, Jathedaar Vedanti will be surrounded and forced to own up to his actions.
Vedanti Cashed Cheques at Liquor Store
Spokesperson of the Panthic Jathebandees, Preetam Singh Joga, alleged that Joginder Singh Vedanti cashed cheques given to him from liquor stores even though it is stated in the ‘Gurduara act,’ that a worker on duty for the SGPC cannot accept money from anyone else without the prior consent of the committee. The cheques range in price from $100 to $500.
The Sikh activists said a movie highlighting Vedanti’s betrayal to the Panth will also be shown to the Sangat in the presence of Vedanti. Organizers of the protest say that the protest will begin right at the airport. Leaders say Vedanti will also have to flee through a back door of the airport.Leaders appealed to the Sangat to gather at the Gurduaaraa Sahib in Kermen and take part in Panthic affairs such as this; if these types of people are not stopped, they will finish the Panth. "We have seen how these types of people deal with problems, such as, the ‘Sacha Sauda’ Saadh."
Compromised Leaders Promoting Badal Agenda? (Editorial PW)
History Repeating Itself : Corrupt Jathedars, Politicians and Deradars
Talwandi Sabo, Punjab (KP) – From the Jathedars of the Takhts and the members of the Sant-Samaj, the softening of their initial stance against the Sirsa cult has become all too predictable. If this trend continues, will they eventually accept the latest meaningless "apology" by the cult leader?
Panthic observers predict that it could be a reality unless the Sikh Sangat steps in to uphold the Hukamnamas and Gurmattas issued just a couple of weeks ago by Sri Akal Takht Sahib in regards to the Sirsa cult.
Beware of current Sikh Leadership
It seems that leaders like Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Paramjit S. Sarna and their associates are using the Sirsa cult controversy for their own publicity and are more than willing to find a solution that benefits themselves directly, along with the political parties involved. “The Panth’s interest is the last item on the plate of these psuedo-Panthic leaders, and it will be the Sikh Nation that will utimately suffer if these individuals are allowed to control the Panth’s agenda”, stated a representative of the Panthic organization Khalsa Alliance.
Sant-Samaj arrest threat Fizzles
The Sant-Samaj, currently led by the Sant Harnam S. Dhumma, had warned that the entire Sant-Samaj organization would court arrest on June 19th if the cult leader Ram Rahim was not arrested by the Government. Much to the surprise of Panthic organizations, the Sant-Samaj didn't court arrest, and held dharna after their leaders had discussions with SGPC President Avtar Makkar and CM Pakash Badal. Makkar pleaded to the Samaj that they should not launch an independent agitation without Vedanti's 'blessings.'
The Samaj announced that in the future they would work under the aegis of Jathedar Vedanti and not initiate any programs on their own – a guarantee the sants would now follow the supremacy of Jathedar Vedanti in the Sirsa dera confrontation. Vedanti is widely considered a puppet of the Badal-BJP combine, and has already backed off from implementing the Akal Takht Sahib Hukamnamas.
Interestingly, the same people who played upon the emotions the Sikh youth during the launch of the anti-Sirsa dera agitation, in which one young Sikh, Bhai Kanwaljit Singh, lost his life, and dozens were injured, are one by one starting to tow the two-faced line of Parkash Badal - the very individual Panthic observers believe is the root cause of the conflict.
General Sikh Sangat Still Resolute
While the specious Sikh leadership has widely withdrawn its initial stance against Dera Sacha Sauda, the Sikh Sangat and Panthic organizations are still portraying the same spirit that was ignited weeks ago when Sauda Cult leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim tried mimicking Guru Gobind Singh Ji at his Bathinda program.
Following the footsteps of the Rajasthan Sikhs keep up the struggle, Sikhs in Punjab have also started a social boycott movement against the cult followers. Even though this movement has caused hardship to many, the courage that is being expressed by Sikhs in Punjab has been magnificent.
Most Gurdwara Sahibs in Punjab that are under the control of Panthic committees have stopped allowing Dera Sacha Sauda followers to use saroops of Guru Granth Sahib at dera programs. In addition, several ‘naam charcha’ programs have also been suspended with efforts of local Sikhs.
It should be noted that while Sikhs in Punjab have refused to overlook the blasphemous acts of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the Sikh leadership is not showing the exact same fortitude as they initially did. As predicted by Panthic Weekly in previous editions, the warnings from the Bharatiya Janata Party to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) to stave off the crisis have shown that the Sikh High Command is controlled by right-wing Hindu organizations.
In light of this, despite the fact that Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti publicly stated that SGPC President Avtar Makkar will be called at Akal Takht Sahib to clarify his role behind the rerouting of the Fatehgarh Sahib march, no such action has been taken so far. Today when the Sikh Nation is in need of political guidance, the Jathedars are trying to flee the country in order to avoid entanglement in a controversy.
Unlike Jathedar Vedanti and others, Singh Sahib Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh is one of the very few leaders who have shown courage to continue the campaigns against Dera Sacha Sauda. At a recent program held at Talwandi Sabo, Jathedar Nandgarh once again stated that the clashes between Sikhs and ‘Dera Jhoota Sauda’ will not finish until the cult leader is arrested and all his deras in Punjab are shut down.
Singh Sahib Balwant Singh Nandgarh also spoke about the incident of Chandpura in which Dera Sacha Sauda followers attacked a local Gurdwara Sahib building. The incident of Chandpura turned violent when Sacha Sauda followers injured a local Sikh Youth who had taken part in some anti-Sacha Sauda protests in the past. After beating the young Singh, the Sacha Sauda followers noticed the police watching silently on the sidelines and they started throwing bricks and stones at the Gurdwara Sahib building. Jathedar Nandgarh alleged that the whole plot of attacking the Gurdwara Sahib was only successful due to the support of local police officers. Similar speeches of Jathedar Nandgarh have caused him serious troubles in the past. At the end of the program at Talwandi Sabo, Singh Sahib Balwant Singh Nandgarh refused to accept a siropa. He told the sangat that until the Sacha Sauda ‘Sadh’ was arrested, he will not consider himself qualified to receive any type of honor from the Khalsa Panth. Time will tell whether he will stand true to his word. Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu is also very active against the jhootha sauda.
Suspicious Arrests by Punjab Police
Mohali, Punjab (KP) – The recent arrests of Sikh activists Swarnjit Singh (Bobby) and Gurcharan Singh (Kala) for attempts to assassinate pseudo-dera heads have not only come as a surprise, but have left Panthic leaders suspicious, as they are having difficulty correlating the background and statements of Bobby and Kala. Although the two men have already disclosed their mission and objectives openly, whether all their explanations are correct or not will have to be decided later when more is discovered about their case.
According to police records, both Bobby and Kala were recently released from jail after their previous terms were completed. Kala was in jail for attempting to kill his local village panchayat head and another man. He was released from jail a year after his term of three years completed. Bobby on the other hand was released just a few months ago. He was arrested on charges of molestation.
At a police conference that was recently called to shed more light on the two arrests, SSP Ranbir Khatra presented the two arrested men. He identified Gurcharan Singh (Kala) as the son of a Bhindrawale Tigers Force (BTF) freedom fighter Sangat Singh Bawania and said that both Kala and Bobby met several ex-Kharkoos in jail and became their close associates. According to Khatra’s statement, one of then ex-Kharkoos had become successful in convincing Kala to walk in the footsteps of his father and work for the cause of the Khalsa Panth.
According to SSP Khatra, upon being released from jail, both men once again met and started forming a network. Their main objective was to finish anti-Sikh cult leaders and Pyara Bhaniarewala and Gurmeet Ram Rahim would have been their first targets. Kala was able to recover some of his father’s guns and ammunition but because of them being aged, he was keen to purchase more powerful weapons so the task could become easier to accomplish. In the process, Kala and some of his associates tried to rob a merchant in Kurali but they were caught by local villagers and handed over to the police. Upon interrogation, their whole network was uncovered.
Kala and Bobby also spoke to the press and identified their main motive behind the plot. They alleged that since no one had been successful in getting the Sacha Sauda leader arrested, they wanted to take matters into their own hands and assassinate Gurmeet Ram Rahim and Baba Bhaniara to teach a lesson to others.
Panthic leaders have been looking at these arrests through a veil of suspicion since Swarnjit Singh had been working as the Youth Akali Dal President of Shiromani Akal Dal (Badal) ever since his release from jail.
Parkash Badal and his family have kept close relationships with several anti-Panthic cults such as Sacha Sauda and Bhaniarewale in the past. Several panthic observers stated that It would not be surprising if these arrests were staged for publicity purposes, in benefiting both the Police and the Punjab Akali government.
Persecution of Simranjit Singh Mann
Dr. Sudip Kaur Minhas, Executive Director, Voices For Freedom
New York, - Voices For Freedom expresses grave concern at the persecution, continued judicial detention and denial of bail to Simranjit Singh Mann (President Akali Dal Amritsar) and eighteen others. He remains in repressive custody after he along with eighteen others were arrested more than a month ago for protesting peacefully the installation of late Chief Minister Beant Singhʼs statue at BMC Chowk Jalandhar. He has since been booked under sections 150 and 124 A. During Beant Singhʼs reign as a Chief Minister thousands of Sikhs were either killed in fake encounters or disappeared. Mann has also alleged inhuman treatment during his hearings.
According to the feedback from various human rights organizations based in India, Indian police and particularly Panjab Police act more according to the whims and wishes of the ruling parties (in this case the Akali Dal Badal at the State and Congress at the Center) than according to the rule of law. Section 124 A which is a charge of Sedition is incompatible with the peaceful protest of Mann. Such extreme measures against a protest is a serious issue as it reveals the repressive ideology of the administration. Any governmentʼs repression of peaceful demonstrations and resorts to through state apparatus is a suppression of the right to free speech and expression.
Voices For Freedom has been campaigning against Indian police and administrationʼs repression against minorities and those who have protested against its oppression. Simranjit Singh Mann has been one of the many who have resorted to peaceful methods to demand a separate and sovereign state for the Sikhs. A demand that even the Supreme Court of India states is not illegal. Mann has been continuously harassed and booked under various sections of the IPC for the past many years.
Voices For Freedom believes that such repression of peaceful demonstrations and protests will cause further harm to the tenuous peace that prevails in Panjab. The people of Panjab and especially the Sikhs resent the freedom of those guilty of police repression during the decade long violence. Failure to protect the life and dignity of its people and then deny justice to victims is not only an abdication of responsibility but a crime.
Voices For Freedom therefore strongly urges the Indian Government to expedite the case proceedings, ensure the safety and dignity of Mann and co-accused and that they be given recourse to a fair trial. Further it must implement fully in practice the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The government must also set up an independent body to undertake prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into all allegations of ill-treatment, including cases of death in custody, and ensure that the methods and findings of such investigations are made public. It must then bring to justice anyone responsible for committing acts of torture and other serious human rights violations.
Latest Dera apology likely to be rejected too
The Sikh high priests rejected Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's first apology saying the addressee was not correct. Now, they are likely to turn down the revised apology too, this time the sender is wrong.
The high priests did not accept the first apology because it was not addressed to the Sikh community, which had been wronged, but to Guru Gobind Singh. Moreover, it was actually a regret, which was short of an apology.
The latest apology, which is yet to be considered by the five high priests, is from the Dera and not the Sacha Sauda sect chief. Considering that it was the personal conduct of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh that ignited the trouble, the apology obviously has to come from him.
Sources disclosed that the apology, sent to the Takht, says the sect respects all religions. It strives for eliminating divisions of religion and caste. "Our Santji is known as the servant of servants (daason ke daas)," the communication says.
Terming the recent "chain of events" a worrying issue, it says the misgivings emanating from them are saddening. "In the interest of mankind, we want to seek pardon from the real spiritual leader Sarvavanshdaani Gobind Singh and the Guru Panth," the apology says.
The latest apology was drafted by the Dera in consultation with Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee (DSGMC) chief Paramjit Singh Sarna. Today, the DSGMC chief said the Dera faxed the draft to him on the night of June 19. He returned the draft after vetting it. "We suggested some changes and told them to incorporate those," he added.
For the record, Sarna maintained, "We don't know what the final letter, sent in a sealed envelop to the Akal Takht says." The DSGMC chief said since Akal Takht chief J S Vedanti is away, "we have forwarded the letter to SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar."
Sarna said the DSGMC has also received a copy of the letter, but we don't know the contents. "It is a matter of honour for DSGMC and the Sikhs of Delhi that we have been instrumental in the effort to resolve the crisis," he said. Sarna has been feeling uneasy after being accused by Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) of a design to spread unrest in Punjab.
Sarna did not agree with the contention that the Dera apology has been prompted by proceedings against him in a Punjab court. He said the draft communication preceded the court order.
The DSGMC chief may have his own reasons for playing the mediator between the Dera head and the Akal Takht, but he is sure to attract the charge of being in league with him. Sarna is said to have close links with both the Congress and its former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. The reaction of the SAD to his recent moves is, therefore, anybody's guess.