Latest Breaking News from Punjab - Saturday 16th June 2007
Gurmit Ram Rahim is back at it, Jaam-e-Isan in hand But this time, clergy, Badal, panthic lobby are all silent
Twenty-four hours before a panthic delegation was to meet Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on June 11, and at a time when the CM was ingulging in loudspeak about the achievements of his government in the first 100 days since taking over power, Dera Sacha Sauda's head Gurmeet Ram Rahim was back to his idiotic drama: distributing his Jaam-e-Insa once again in total imitation of the amrit sanchar ceremony of the Sikhs.Cocking a snook at the state government which has registered a case under 295-A of IPC (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), and fortified with his newly acquired Z-plus security, murder-accused Gurmeet Ram Rahim virtually challenged the entire Sikh panth on June 10 once again, distributing his roohafza-water concoction called 'Jaam-e-Insaan' to thousands of followers in Sirsa at a huge ceremony.This time, the Sikh clergy did not issue a single statement, most panthic bodies seemed to have resigned themselves to the situation, the Parkash Singh Badal government enumerated the achievements in 100 days, not a single minister referred to what happened in Sirsa, and the issue did not come up at the meeting of the panthic delegation with Badal the next day.How deafening can silence be? When the SGPC members met the CM on June 11, less than 24 hours after the repeat act of provocation, they did talk about Dera controversy but forgot to make any noise about the previous day's developments at Sirsa and instead were keen to convince the CM that SGPC members should get the right to sport red lights atop their vehicles.Dressed in a white kurta-pyjama with a shining red headgear, the Dera chief, himself an accused in case of molestation of young girls, was the first to drink the Jaam-e-Insa. Later, it was distributed among the followers, who had filled up a form and agreed to abide by the rules. The ritual, which began at 7 p.m., lasted an-hour-and-a half and the ceremony was shrouded in complete secrecy. Strangely, the Punjab Congress, which had been somewhat soft towards Gurmeet Ram Rahim in the attire controversy, strongly reacted to his June 10 function.All visitors and their vehicles were checked thoroughly and the height of the boundary wall of the Dera is also being raised. The local administration, too, had positioned BSF and the local police on all roads leading to the Dera.
All the satsangs of the Dera Head should be closed down - Jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh Takhat Shri Damdama Sahib.
Badal dismissive of sedition case against Bhai Daljit Singh
Chandigarh: Indicating his government's utter insincerity, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was totally dismissive of the sedition case registered against Bhai Daljit Singh of Akali Dal (Amritsar) and told him to his face that the issue was of no consequence to the government.
Badal was speaking to Bhai Daljit Singh when the latter met him as part of the larger panthic delegation led by DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna on June 11. The delegation's main concern was the issue of Dera Sacha Sauda, but even here Badal had little consolation to offer.
The delegation included, apart from Sarna and Bhai Daljit Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh, Kanwarpal Singh of Dal Khalsa, Jasbir Singh Rode, Karnail Singh Panjoli, Gurtej Singh, Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, Jaswant Singh Mann and nearly 90 other people.
The meeting at the Punjab Bhawan lasted nearly an hour but virtually nothing came of it. At one stage, Badal even chided Sarna for having supported the Congress, which, he claimed, was behind the dera nuisance.
Happy Hundred, Sardar Badal! Panth Be damned
It was with great fanfare that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal listed out his government's achievements on the day the SAD-BJP/RSS regime completed its 100 days in power. It was also a day after Sirsa Dera Sacha Sauda head did a repeat performance of the so-called Jaam-e-Insa ceremony, an imitation of the Amrit Sanchar ceremony.
Independent of the lackadaisical approach of the Akali Dal, the SGPC and the government, Sikhs across Punjab were taking their line from the Akal Takht, boycotting the social functions and nam-charcha dramas of dera followers and resisting attempts by dera men to install the Guru Granth Sahib for their functions.
Clever Badal knew it was such an advent of the panthic sentiment which may prove to be his undoing. So, hours after celebrating his government's achievements (whatever they are), Badal was confabulating with the members of the SGPC, asking them to ensure that requests from anyone for borrowing the bir of Guru Granth Sahib are not denied!
Badal must be the first Sikh chief minister asking the premier religious shrine management body not to follow the directive of the Akal Takht.
In turn, the SGPC members were no less worried about the supremacy of the religious body. Their prime demand? "The SGPC members should be allowed the use of red beacon lights atop their vehicles," member after member of the SGPC urged Badal. They said the officers in the area should extended the same courtesies to them as they do to the area MLA.
"They should be included in district level grievances committees, district planning boards etc and should be allowed access to the Punjab Civil Secretariat," the SGPC members collectively demanded. Flush with happiness on his 100th day in power, Badal acceded this demand. He was, in fact, even more kind: "You can all convey your special demands to my advisor Daljit Singh Cheema." How kind!
On the same day, his attitude towards the most pressing problem of Dera Sacha Sauda's Gurmeet Ram Rahim's antics was nothing but casual. The SGPC members did not mention the fact that the man who apologized to none other than Guru Gobind Singh only a few days ago was again back to his theatre of the absurd and had carried out the ceremony only 24 hours earlier in Sirsa. Badal seems to have also forgotten the glaring reality all too conveniently.
And to the only people who could have reminded him, Badal was even more casual. That very day, he met a panthic delegation (He did. Thank God for small mercies!) He said the sedition case against Bhai Daljit Singh was a non-issue. “You know, the Congress in any case would not have registered it,” Badal told the Akali Dal (Amritsar) leader with an unimpeachable reputation. Good. Very Good. 100 days do a lot to a man if he wants to be drunk on power.
Now, let’s come to the achievements on the ground: Beant Singh’s statues dot Punjab, Simranjit Singh Mann in jail, Sukhbir Singh Badal is undisputed leader, ministry is stuffed with relatives, relations with Congress are good (Rajinder Kaur Bhattal is closer to Badal than to Amarinder Singh), Dera Sacha Sauda row is abating, clergy is in vice grip, Daljit Singh is facing a sedition case and SGPC members can hope for red lights on cars. And, oh yes, Bharat Inder Singh Chahal is nabbed. Happy Hundred, Sardar Badal. At this rate, the Indian establishment won’t grudge you a few more such occasions.
Punjab police aborts bid to eliminate self styled godman Bhaniarewala
CHANDIGARH: Punjab police on Friday claimed to have foiled an attempt by two Sikh youth to eliminate self-styled godman Piara Singh Bhaniarewala, who has been excommunicated from the Sikh religion for his alleged blesphamy acts.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mohali Ranbir Singh Khatra said that Swaranjit Singh alias Bobby General Secretary of Youth Wing of ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) unit of Ropar district a resident of Bahadarpur village and Gurcharan Singh alias Kala son of a late Bhindrawale Tigers Force (BTF) ultra Sangat Singh Bawani’s were arrested in this connection.
Both Bobby and Kala had planned to assassinate a controversial godman Bhaniarawala. They had formed a Khalsa Action Committee, in which they were recruiting the like-minded persons.
Khatra said that a .455 bore US-made 1950-model sophisticated pistol, a .30 bore revolver, its 5 live cartridges and 2 live grenades were recovered from the duo, who were still on the job to acquire more sophisticated weapons.
Divulging their reorganization and terror plans, the SSP told that both Bobby and Kala had met in Nabha high-security jail where they were lodged under rape and attempt to murder cases, respectively.
Being residents of the same district, both Bobby and Kala developed good relations in the jail, where they also came in contact with former terrorists Daljit Singh Bittu now senior vice president of SAD(Amritsar), Balbir Singh Beera and Gursharan Singh Gama, who were also lodged there.
Khatra said when Kala told Bittu that he was late ultra’s son, Bittu advised him and Bobby to do something “good” for the Sikh community. They hatched the conspiracy while in jail, SSP said.
While Bobby was released on bail over a year back, Kala was bailed out over two months back. On meeting outside jail, they started working on their Bhaniarawale’s assassination plan, on which Bobby told Kala that Bhaniarawale’s security cover has been strengthened, following which sophisticated arms and ammunitions were required to kill him.
After recovering Bawani’s hidden arms and ammunitions, they planned to snatch the arms of the Punjab Home Guard personnel on guard at Lakhmipur-Jhallian siphon of Bhakra canal near Ropar, in which they had not yet succeeded, the SSP divulged.
To raise money Kala and his accomplices tried to snatch a cash bag of a trader in Kurali on June 6, when Kala was held and during his sustained interrogation, he spilled the beans and helped the police to lay hands on Bobby as well, revealed the SSP.