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Monday, June 18, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab - Monday 18th June 2007
Today is the ultimatium date from Sant Samaaj to the Goverment to take action otherwise tomorrow the Sant Samaaj will carry out court arrest in protest for the deras to be closed and the head to be arrested.
Punjab police moves court to arrest Dera head Bathinda, In an apparent effort to cool tempers of some radical Sikh outfits demanding the arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Punjab police today moved a local court seeking arrest warrants against sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs.Punjab police filed an application before duty magistrate K L Khitchi seeking arrest warrants against the dera chief."After proper investigations, we have sufficient evidence against the head of Dera Sacha Sauda about his involvemnet in hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs," Bathinda SSP Naunihal Singh told PTI.The application seeking arrest warrants for the head of Dera Sacha Sauda had been admitted in the court, he said adding the court was examining the application before handing down any order.The police decision to move court came a day ahead of the planned march by Sant Samaj, an umberalla organisation comprising some radical Sikh groups, inclduing Damdami Taksal, demanding the immediate arrest of head of Dera Sacha Sauda.Sant Samaj and Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa, who is a descandant of late militant Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale, said activists of Samaj would assemble at Fatehgarh Sahib tomorrow and march in a procession to Chandigarh where they would court arrest seeking action against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh."Police has just moved the court seeking arrest warrants...The head of Dera must be arrested for his blasphemous act," he said.Police had beefed up security to prevent any untoward incident.A case was registered by Bathinda police against Baba Gurmeet for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs last month.The head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda was embroiled in a controversy after he purportedly appeared in an advertisement attired in a dress similar to the tenth Sikh guru Gobind Singh on May 13.After the appearance of the advertisement, the border state was hit by sectarian strife in which one person was killed and over 50 injured.

No ‘naam charcha’ allowed at bhog

Sangrur,As Jarnail Singh, a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda, neither succeeded in getting Guru Granth Sahib from the village gurdwara nor could hold “naam charcha” for the bhog ceremony of his wife at Bahadurpur village, near here, today, he along with his family performed the rituals by paying obeisance to Guru Ravidass.
Earlier, after the death of his wife when Jarnail Singh had asked the village gurdwara for taking the holy book for organising a path, the management of the gurdwara had declined to give him the same in the light of a call by Akal Takht for the boycott of “premis”.
Meanwhile, heavy security arrangements were made by the police at the village. On the other hand more than 100 members of the Sikh community were also present at the village gurdwara.

Sacha Sauda issue: Sant Samaj to court arrest

Fatehgarh Sahib: The constituents of Sant Samaj, led by Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa and Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi, today threatened to court arrest if the police did not arrest Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh by tomorrow--the deadline fixed by Sikh organisations in the state.Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa said the decision was taken in a meeting organised at Gurdwara Karamsar Rara Sahib.He said a five-member committee had been constituted to implement the move to court arrest in a phased manner.The move was considered significant in view of tomorrow's deadline given by radical Sikh organisations of the state for the arrest of Dera chief for his alleged blasphemous act of imitating tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa said that all the constituents of the Sant Samaj were unanimous about launching a ''peaceful action plan'' to impress upon the respective governments to ensure that the religious sentiments of Sikhs, hurt by the blasphemous act, were taken care of. ''Keeping in view the significance of communal harmony in the state, we have decided to start court arrest in a phased manner from June 19, in case the police fails to arrest the Dera chief by June 18. But our action plan will be purely religious and no individual or organisation will be allowed to harness political mileage out of our protest,'' he added.Mr Khalsa said activists and office-bearers of various radical Sikh religious organisations, who have gone abroad or to other states, had been asked to return to their native places so that the chain of arrests was maintained till the Baba was arrested. Sant Daya Singh, Baba Makhan Singh Tarna Dal, Baba Hari Singh Randhawa, Baba Paramjit Singh Mahalpur and Baba Haranam Singh Khalsa have been inducted in the committee to draft the programme of courting arrests.Mr Khalsa said the first 'jatha' of religious leaders would leave Fatehgarh Sahib to court arrest at Civil Secretariat at Chandigarh on Tuesday.

Sacha Sauda Row: IHRO Slams Badal and Hooda

The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) today said that the Parkash Singh Badal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda governments in Punjab and Haryana, respectively, had miserably failed to check the rowdy elements, who were active in the guise of Dera Sacha Sauda followers. The organisation has alleged that both the Congress and Badal were encouraging secetarian violence and lawlessness in Punjab and Haryana.
IHRO chairperson D.S. Gill, general secretary M.S. Grewal and coordinator, Legal Affairs, Sukhdev Singh Ramgarh Sibian, while speaking to mediapersons here said: “Punjab Chief Minister’s often repeated statement that “law will take its own course” is nothing but a pseudo slogan to mislead the people and to please the Centre to retain his chair.”
They said the studied silence and inaction Badal had been maintaining on the Dera “Sacha Sauda” crisis would prove to be counter-productive,” said the IHRO activist, adding that it was a total negation of the rule of law. They said that IHRO had decided to side with the Khalsa Action Committee that had taken cudgels against the on-slaught on the Sikhs and the lawlessness.

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