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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab - Tuesday 19th June 2007
Sant Samaj to court arrest today

Plea filed for arrest of dera chief

Bathinda, The district police has moved an application in the local court to secure arrest warrant against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head, Dera Sacha Sauda, in a criminal case registered against him at the city police station here on May 20.
Various Sikh organisations have also planned a protest march in the district on June 24 to press the state government to arrest him.
Moreover, this move of the district police authorities has also made the entry of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh into this district difficult. The dera chief was planning to hold a satsang in the dera branch at Salabatpura village in July.
Police sources said a formal application had been moved in the court in this town in connection with the criminal case registered under Section 295-A of the IPC against the dera chief on the complaint of Rajinder Singh Sidhu, president, local Khalsa Diwan.
Twenty followers of the sect had already been arrested for their alleged involvement in violence which took place in this town on May 15. Another criminal case had also been registered at the city police station against unidentified followers for their alleged involvement in violence on May 14.
Sources added that if the court issued warrants against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, he might be arrested. Though senior police officials were tightlipped in connection with today’s development, information gathered by TNS revealed that the district police authorities were likely to get the arrest warrant of the dera chief within a few days.

Ultimatum Ends Sant Samaj to court arrest today

Jalandhar, As the ultimatum served by the Gurmat Sidhant Parcharak Sant Samaj on June 2 on the Union, Punjab and Haryana governments for arresting Dera Sacha Sauda head Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ended on Monday, members of the Sant Samaj will court arrest on Tuesday.
The chief of Sant Samaj, Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, who is also head of Damdami Taksal, said the members of the samaj would start a procession from Fatehgarh Sahib to Chandigarh on Tuesday where they would court arrest.
Khalsa said they wanted to continue their protest against the dera in a peaceful manner and the concerned government should arrest the dera chief keeping in mind the sentiments of the Sikh community.
In the same way, the senior vice-president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Daljit Singh Bittu said the Khalsa Action Committee comprising several Sikh organisations, including the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, SAD (A), Dal Khalsa, Damdami Taksal, Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat and SAD-1920 would carry out a Khalsa march in favour of their demand of the dera chief’s arrest on June 24.
Bittu said the DCs of Moga and Bathinda had already been informed about the route.

State on high alert

Chandigarh, Punjab has been put on high alert for tomorrow to avoid any clash between followers of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda and the Sikhs in Punjab. Almost a fortnight after it seemed things were cooling off the recent precautions are being taken on two counts.
First, the Bathinda police has sought arrest warrants of Dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh. This could anger the Premis’ (followers of the dera) and secondly the Sant Samaj will stage a march from Fatehgarh Sahib to Chandigarh to protest against the dera. Senior police officers were meeting to plan strategy for tomorrow.
This will be the second such march. The earlier one, led by the SGPC, had passed-off peacefully with the submission of memorandums to representatives of the Governors of Punjab and Haryana at Fatehgarh Sahib itself. Tomorrow’s march is keeping the police on its toes as a decision has been taken that it will not be stopped at Fatehgarh Sahib. It could be intercepted at Mohali, said a top police officer adding no unsheathed swords would be allowed.
Sources in the Punjab Police said the Dera had given a call to followers in Punjab to reach its main dera in Punjab at Salabatpura. The police said all people, be it Premis or Sikh organisations, travelling in the south-western districts were being screened and searches carried to stop anybody travelling with arms or swords. The police is keen on avoding a flare up. Paramilitary forces will help the police while Section 144 of the CrPC remains in force and nakas have been set-up to check travellers.
Just two days ago posters had come up in Moga threatning the Dera chief and his followers. These were computer-generated print-outs and the police had beefed up security.

No decision at high preists’ meeting

Amritsar, No decision came out of the emergency meeting convened by Jathedar Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti here late in the evening today, to discuss the issue of courting arrest by the Sant Samaj at Chandigarh tomorrow.
The meeting was convened by Akal Takht Jathedar Vedanti to urge leaders and workers of the Sant Samaj to refrain from courting arrest at Chandigarh in protest against the failure of the state government to arrest Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Besides Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Giani Trilochan Singh of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh of Damdama Sahib and Sikh high priests Giani Gurbachan Singh and Giani Jagtar Singh were were present in the meeting.

Punjab police seek warrant against Dera chief

Bathinda (Punjab) : The Punjab police Monday sought an arrest warrant against Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh on the charge of hurting religious sentiments of the Sikh community.
Police moved a court here seeking the warrant for the Dera chief who lives near Sirsa town in neighbouring Haryana, 100 km from here.
The arrest warrant has been sought on the basis of a case filed against the Dera chief here May 20 in which he was charged of hurting the religious sentiments of a community through his actions.
The case was registered under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The court admitted the police plea but reserved its order.
The move by police comes a day before Sikh hardliners, led by Sant Samaj, are to court arrest at Chandigarh Tuesday seeking action against the Dera chief.
He has been accused of blaspheming the Sikh religion recently by attiring himself like 10th Sikh guru Gobind Singh.
The controversy led to widespread protests by Sikhs and clashes between members of the Sikh community and Dera followers. Punjab had remained on the boil for over a week mid-May.
Though the Dera head was later pressurized into apologizing, the Sikh community was not entirely satisfied and they wanted him arrested.
The Akal Takht - highest temporal seat of Sikhs - had asked the Dera to wind up its campuses from Punjab by May 27 but that did not happen. The Sikh community was also asked to socially boycott the Dera chief and all his followers.
In an apparent effort to cool tempers of some radical Sikh outfits demanding the arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Punjab police on Monday 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 KL Khitchi seeking arrest warrants against the dera chief.
“After proper investigations, we have sufficient evidence against the head of Dera Sacha Sauda about his involvement in hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs,” Bathinda SSP Naunihal Singh said.

This note was submitted to the Sessions Judge, Jullundhar, trying the 21 Sikh nationalists for treason and sedition.

To,The Hon’ble Session Judge,Julundhar,Subject:- Torture and lack of medicines while in Judicial Custody in Central Jail, Ludhiana.Your Honour,Fateh,We 20 prisoners, one being admitted in Rajindra Hospital, Patiala who is not a signatory to this petition before your Honour wish to state that as per international standards on the description of torture it is now recognized that keeping prisoners detained in extreme of temperatures, whether very cold or very hot is a form of torture. We prisoners were put to extreme torture in Ludhiana Jail when the temperatures reached 47ºC and above.On 31st May 2007 in the afternoon the electricity was shut off for one complete hour. On 1st, June 2007 for one and a half hour the electricity was shut after we were locked in our barracks /cell. Without the fans we faced extreme pain and torture.One 8th, June 2007, the electricity in the Jail was shut off from 3PM to 6PM. It was stifling hot and temperatures had soared to 47º C. On 10th, June 2007, after we were locked into our wards/cells, the electricity was put off from 8.10PM to 10.15PM. This was the worst night for us prisoners, it being very, very hot. 17 prisoners that night in our jail were brought to the Jail Hospital, as with the extreme heat they were on the verge of death.On 12th, June 07 the electricity in the Jail was shut down from 9AM to 1PM.We have learnt that the Jail has an uninterrupted supply of 24 hours of power but the break downs began after we prisoners of Shiromani Akali Dal(Amritsar) were packed to jail on flimsy charges that did not stand under sections 107/151 Crpc. Or later under 124A IPC and 153 A IPC. The BJP –Badal government is pursuing vendetta politics against all parties and persons who do not ascribe to ultra-right wing Hindutva agenda of the BJP and Badalites.We have also lacked medical facilities as S. Hazoor Singh Paili has not received proper dental treatment. S. Simranjit Singh Mann has been prescribed a certain medicine-XALTAN by Pfizer company by the Head of Eye Department of the PGI for his eyes, as he has lost 40% of his eyesight in his left eye due to torture by the Indian state since 1984, after which he has been put consistently either in police or judicial custody, from Jails in Rajasthan, Behar, Delhi, UP and the Panjab. Despite his many requests the jailors did not supply him with the medicine XALTAN.We pray Your Honour will order the right legal action on the perpetrators of injustice and torture meted out to us on this petition and the last one addressed to Your Honour on 1.6.2007 through Hon’ble Judge Jain.Thanking you,Yours faithfully,Signed by the twenty Sikh prisoners:Satnam Singh Sandhu, Balwant Singh Gopal, Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, Jagir Singh, Gurjatinderpal Singh, Kashmir Singh, Hazoora Singh, S. Major Singh, Narinjan Singh, Surjit singh, Balwinder Singh , Sukhjinder Singh, Buta Singh ,Balbir singh Duleta ,Balbir Singh Kotla Khurd Dharmjit Singh, Simranjit Singh Mann, Bibi Gurdip Kaur Chatha, S. Rajinder Singh Fauji, Ch. Harbans Singh, S. Shingara Singh is in hospital in Patiala and not with us today.

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