Latest Breaking News from Punjab - Saturday 23rd June 2007
Apology Letter Sikh clergy likely to meet on June 27
Amritsar, Akal Takht is likely to hold a crucial meeting on June 27 here to discuss the fresh apology letter sent by Dera Sacha Sauda chief in a sealed envelop. The meeting of the Sikh high priests could not be held before June 24 - the date fixed for hardliners to take out the protest march - because Jathedar Vedanti had gone to Canada.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had reportedly contacted Jathedar Vedanti on telephone in Canada and urged him to cut short his visit in the wake of the fresh apology letter. However, the jathedar conveyed that he could not reach Amritsar before June 26. He would again go to the USA after attending the meeting.
Sources said except for hardliners who are adamant to take out the march, most of the senior leaders of the SGPC, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and SAD have expressed satisfaction over the contents of the fresh apology. Under such circumstances, the Sikh high priests may accept the apology on the condition that it should be signed by the dera chief. The SGPC chief has described the decision of hardliners regarding the march as violation of the directive issued by the Jathedars, Akal Takht, and Damdama Sahib.
In an another significant development, the Chief Minister talked to DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna on telephone to appreciate his mediation efforts.
On the other hand, district magistrate, Amritsar, Kahan Singh Pannu has imposed ban on the carrying of fire-arms and traditional weapons under Section 144 as a precautionary measure.
Maintain peace, groups urged
Moga, With a view to maintaining law and order in the district in connection with the Khalsa March on June 24, the police and civil administration held a meeting with the political, social and religious groups of the district here today.
The administration urged them to utilise their influence in keeping communal harmony.
It added that it had asked the participants of the march to follow the route announced by the administration, which meant skipping Salabatpur village. They also made a special request to the SGPC members present at the meeting to convince the participants to peacefully organise the march.
Bathinda, With a view to maintaining law and order throughout the state, president of the SGPC Avtar Singh today asked the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) to cancel its proposed protest march to be taken out on June 24.
The SGPC chief said members of the KAC should cancel their march as their leader Paramjit Singh Sarna had already dissociated himself from the march.
About the contents of the apology letter sent by Dera Sacha Sauda, the jathedar said he could not say anything about it as the envelope would be opened by the Jathedar of Akal Takht after his return from abroad.
Meanwhile, in a press note issued today Jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Balwant Singh Nandgarh also appealed to the Sikh organisations to postpone the proposed march.
Jathedar Avtar Singh was here in connection with a meeting of the SGPC members of eight districts of the Malwa belt.
Meanwhile, ‘premis” of Dera Sacha Sauda today also submitted a memorandum, addressed to the Governor, here to stop the atrocities against them.
‘Amarinder behind disturbances’
Bathinda, President of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front Maninderjit Singh Bitta today demanded a CBI inquiry to ascertain the alleged role of former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Paramjit Singh Sarna in spoiling the peaceful atmosphere of the state with regard to the dera issue. He was here today to express views on the hot issue.
Bitta alleged that Amarinder Singh had encouraged the dera head to dress up like Guru Gobind Singh and also provoked Paramjit Singh Sarna to raise slogans for creating disturbances in the state.
SSF appeal to Sikhs to take part in June 24 march
FATEHGARH SAHIB; The Sikh Students Federation(SSF) has made an appeal to the Sikh Sangat to participate in 24 June Khalsa March in large number.
SSF President Parmjit Singh Gazi and General Secretary Hardev Singh Karnal said on Friday that the march shall be from historic place of Dian Sahib (Moga) to Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib through its' decided route. They said that this march is to spread awareness among Sikh Masses and is a step towards implementation of edicts of Sri Akaal Takht. Commenting on fresh apology letter sent by dera, Gazi said that Sri Akaal Takht Sahib Jathedar should continue with the traditions and should call a meeting of all Pathic Organizations and Sikh Sangat at Sri Akal Takhat. He said that any decision should be made only after such meeting. He said that SSF is of the opinion that any apology should not be accepted only if it is submitted after accepting the guilt and carries an assurance that it shall not be repeated.
Dera Chief agrees to peace proposal
Sirsa:In order to avoid confrontation with Sikh organisations, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh today agreed to a proposal to confine the sect's prayer sessions to the homes of his followers in certain sensitive areas of the district.
The Dera chief gave this commitment to the members of a Peace Committee, formed by the district authorities, in view of the growing tension in some villages of the district following strong opposition of 'Nam Charcha' (prayer) sessions held at various Sacha Sauda centres.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (Security) K K Mishra visited the Sacha Sauda Dera to assess the situation in the wake of the recent non-bailable arrest warrant issued by a Punjab court against the Dera chief. The members of the Peace committee met the Dera chief today and held deliberations with a 25-member Dera committee to devise ways and means to defuse tension between the two parties.
The Dera chief then directed his followers to confine the prayer sessions to their homes in the sensitive areas. Security was beefed up in the Sirsa district, with the arrival of two more contingents of the CRPF. Two companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) were already deployed in the district. A flag march was also conducted in the city by the personnel of the BSF, RAF and the Haryana Armed Police to instil confidence among the residents.