Latest Breaking News from Punjab - Wednesday 13th June 2007
No move to remove Nandgarh
The SGPC chief said as of today there was no move to remove the jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib. He said it could be rumours that jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh would be shunted out. He also denied that the SGPC was pressurising the jathedar to resign from the post.
Makkar goes soft on dera issue Says people misunderstood SGPC
Fatehgarh Sahib, Coming out clean on the SGPC’s stand on the Dera issue, its president Avtar Singh Makkar stated that the SGPC never wanted to forcibly get the deras evicted from Punjab. He said it was sheer anger of the masses that led to wrong perception among many. Instead, the SGPC intended that the masses should boycott deras in the state so that these die a natural death, Makkar said.
Speaking to The Tribune here today, the SGPC chief said it was beyond the purview of the SGPC to capture the deras in the state by using force. He said the state government took a positive stance on the whole issue, as registration of the cases against dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh pacified the masses.
The SGPC chief, who appeared to be calm on the issue of the arrest of the dera chief, stated that the law would take its own course. He stressed that the masses should themselves see reason and boycott the deras.
He said a lawyer’s panel to pursue the issue against the dera was in the process of being constituted and it was most likely that the panel would be finalised in a day or so.
Being cryptic on the issue of Sukhbir Badal contesting legislative elections in the state, Makkar said it was not a subject matter of the SGPC and it was for Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to decide. He, however, said being the acting president of the SAD Sukhbir Badal could contest the elections as he pleased.
DGP visits Salabatpura
Salabatpura (Bathinda), In a goodwill gesture DGP, Punjab, N.P.S. Aulakh visited this town, where the main dera of the Sacha Sauda sect is located, and listened to the grievances of policemen deployed there since May 17.
The DGP, who was accompanied by IG, Patiala zone, M.K. Tiwari, DIG, Faridkot range, Jatinder Jain and SSP, Bathinda, Nau Nihal Singh, also listened the problems being faced by villagers.
Policemen told the DGP that they were not being allowed to take leave and they had been finding it difficult to meet their social responsibilities. They also informed him that they were performing their duties in extreme hot weather without any break.
The DGP told the Punjab police functionaries that the paramilitary forces would have to stay in the village for more some time.
Khalsa action Committee submits memo to Punjab CM against dera Sacha Sauda
CHANDIGARH: The Khalsa action committee formed against dera Sacha Sauda under the command of Paramjit Singh Sarna president of Delhi Sikh Gurdawara Committee on Monday submitted a memorendum to the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal seeking action against the dera head Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh. We present here the text of the letter.
It says, Sikhs all over the world are seething with anger and anguish over the continued anti-social and anti-religion activities of pseudo-saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Imitating the dress and mannerisms of Guru Gobind Singh, administering his so-called ‘jaam-e-insan’, by creating his own seven stars, on the pattern of the ‘Panj Piyaras’ and by promulgating a code of conduct on the pattern of Sikh Rehat Maryada, this person has outraged the religious feelings of the Sikhs and no believer of Sikh faith can tolerate such sacrilegious acts.
The blasphemous acts of this one person have created a sense of unrest in Punjab. Like all Punjabis, we too are concerned that events in the last few weeks, which have enraged a large cross section of Sikhs in Punjab and all over the Sikh Diaspora has put a question mark over the overall economic development of the state.
There is no doubt that Sikh sentiments have been hurt by the blasphemous acts of this person and his cohorts. The media has added fuel to the fire by launching a tirade against the agitating Sikhs and portraying them as threat to peace.
We feel let down by the fact that in spite of an Akali government in place, the hooligans of Dera Sirsa who had a field day in Punjab for three consecutive days from 14th-16th May, 2007, beating the Sikhs, ransacking the properties of bystanders and pelting stones at the police in Bhatinda in full public view. It was a repeat and rehash of sordid events of April 1978 when the pseudo-Nirankaris acted in a similar manner.
There is now once again substantial and substantive material to prove that the proliferation of this cult is part of a grandiose plan to undermine Sikhs. While Sikhs are yet to recover from the events of the last month, comes the report that Gurmeet Ram Rahim has repeated his acts in Sirsa yesterday. His followers are making pernicious attempts to regroup and overawe the Sikhs as they did in Mandi Ahmedgarh, Moga and Ferozepur in the last few days. As you are in power it should be easy for you to decipher which forces are behind the dera. Whether it is the central government or the security agencies out to create mischief is for you to find out.
In any case, we believe that it is time for your government to launch action against the accused. A Special Investigation Team should be constituted to arrest Gurmeet Ram Rahim on the basis of the FIR filed against him at Bhatinda. A search and seize operation should be launched at Salabatpura and other deras in Punjab as Sikhs believe that they are dens of illegal arms. It is completely wrong to say that it is unconstitutional to shut down such deras which are spreading hatred and are danger to peaceful co-existence of Punjabis.
The murderer of Kamaljit Singh, named in the FIR filed in the said case, is hiding in one of the deras of this cult. The hooligans who indulged in vandalism on 14th May 2007 in Bhatinda; manhandled and mauled police personnel are also hiding in the cult deras, either in Punjab or Haryana. There is no doubt that to arrest such criminal elements, deras can be raided and sealed to secure public order and peace.
The treatment that is being doled out to him in the form of Z-plus security, barricading of his deras in Haryana and Punjab, giving him permission to hold his cultist ceremonies and registering of false cases against Sikh leaders who are agitating against the Sirsa dera chief is adding insult to injury.
The right to religion should not provide any person or group or association a right to undermine another’s faith. We believe that it is time for action. We request you not to prevaricate on the issue and instead take stern action. History bears testimony to the fact that inordinate and deliberate delays in delivering justice to Sikhs, following the events of April 1978, made matters worse.
The Khalsa Action Committee, consisting of representatives of various Sikh organizations formed recently to coordinate action against the Sirsa dera appeals that Gurmeet Ram Rahim should be arrested and all his deras should be sealed. All false cases against agitating Sikh leaders should be immediately withdrawn. We assure that all your fears can be allayed if you show the political will to allow the law to take its own course.
Sant Samaj calls meeting on June 13 on dera issue
FATEHGARH SAHIB: The meeting of Sant Samaj will be held on June 13 at Gurdwara Karamsar, Rara Sahib to discuss Dera Sacha Sauda issue.
According to Sant Samaj general sectary Hari Singh Randhawale, the meeting will be presided over by the Sant Samaj chief Harnam Singh Khalsa.
The Sant Samaj had earlier given an ultimatun till June 18 to the state goverment for the arrest of dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the meantime held a meeting with members of Shrioamni Gurdawara Parbhandak Committee(SGPC) on Monday and urged them not to rake fresh controversy over dera issue. He said that issue of dera had been sattlled with great efforts. He told the SGPC members to go to the Sikh masses to preech the teachings of Sikh gurus. He said that prioprity of his government at this stage is development of the state.
KAC Tendered Memorandum to CM: The Khasla Action Committee has tendered a memorandum to CM of Punjab and has asked him to arrest dera cheif for hurting religious feelings of Sikh Nation. BUT one thing should be made clear here that much should not be expected from Badal Government who want to defuse the whole matter at the earlist possible.
CM Direscted SGPC Members to Avoid Clash with Dera Followers: Punjab CM Badal has directed his SGPC members not to come in clash with dera followers. He has directed them not to stop dera followers from holding programs/functions and to allow them tocarry Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to thier places if they want to do so. It is notable that as per 17 May, 2007 Resolution adopted at Sri Damdama Sahib Sikh Sangat was asked to seprate their ties from dera sauda followers. So Sikh Sangat is committed to restrain functions of dera and is implimeting a social boycott of dera followers. In this way Badal's statement to clearly against edict of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib rather its' real intension is to nutralize the effect of May 17 and May 20 Hukumnamas of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib.
Dear Function Stoped Near Malerkotla: Situation became tense near Malerkotla as dera sauda followers were organizing their functions and they were stoped from holding functions by Sikh Sangat lead by Sikh Students Federation local leaders. With intervension of Police and Administration situation was normalized only after dera function was stopped.
Khalsa Action Comittee : KAC would meet tomorrow (after meeting with CM) to plan the statergy to execute its' decsion to hold a march from Dina Kangar (Moga) to Damdama Sahib on 24 June. This March is to be organized with an object of spreading awairness among people against Dera Sauda. Further Actions shall be announced on 24 June, 2007.
No move to replace Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar: Makkar
FATEEHGARH SAHIB: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar said that there is no move to replace Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh.
Talking to select media persons at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College(BBSBEC), Fatehgarh Sahib on Tuesday Makkar said that SGPC is not pressurizing Jathedar Nandgarh to resign from post.
On closure of deras of Dera Sacha Sauda Chief, Makkar first time clarified that there was no intention of the SGPC to forcibly get the Deras closed down in Punjab. He said that the SGPC wanted that the people should themselves boycott the Deras. The SGPC was only motivated the masses to boycott the deras in polite way, Makkar said.
He said that message of Sikhism would be propagated and SGPC would attempt to being the Sikhs backs into its fold.
He said that SGPC is bound to implement the directions of Akal Takht. He said that all protest programme against Dera Sacha Sauda chief would be done in peaceful a manner.
On the arrest of the Dera Chief, SGPC chief said that law will take its own course.
He said that a committee of lawyers would be finalized within two days, which would solidly contest cases against the Dera chief. He showered praised on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD acting President Sukhbir Badal for properly handling the case of Dera chief.
He said that World Sikh University project would be soon started at Fatehgarh Sahib.
Meanwhile, the SGPC chief announced appointment of Amarinder Singh Libra, son of a former Punjab MLA Kirpal Singh Libra, as a member of the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Educational trust.
Sirhind MLA Didar Singh Bhatti, Former Ministers Harmail Singh Tohra, Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Dr TP Singh , principal BBSBEC, Fatehgarh Sahibwere also present.