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Friday, July 20, 2007

Blog Announcement


Announcement from the blog Sevadars the blog will be down from Friday 20th July 2007 to Friday 24th August 2007 due to technical difficulty and blog updates. Please note the blog will be back online from Friday 24th August 2007 even bigger and better. Please bear with us, Seva will be resumed as soon as possible. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

-Updated Frequently with the latest news from Punjab scroll down for the other News. You can now subscribe to the blogs feed get the latest updates from the blog striaght to your email inbox, scroll down and subscribe. Please feel free to leave comments on the Dera issue or what you think of the Site no comments will be rejected.-
Latest Breaking News from Punjab: Thursday 19th July 2007

Religious act draws flak

Amritsar, The participation of BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu in a“rudra yagya”, organised by a religious organisation in view of the start of the “sawan” on Monday, has received flak from various Sikh organisations.
Former Jathedar of Akal Takht Bhai Ranjit Singh said here today that Sidhu had violated the Sikh maryada by wearing a sacred thread and dhoti during the yagya.

Dera followers attacked

Ludhiana, Tension gripped the city today when a group of about 50 Sikh youths attacked the house of a Dera Sacha Sauda follower at Lohara village. The group prevented the dera followers from holding ‘naam charcha’. They beat up the “premis”, including women, and ransacked the house of a premi, Mukhtiar Singh, where the followers had met.
The administration deployed police at the site to prevent escalation of tension. A case under Sections 323, 452 and 506 of the IPC for trespassing, beating and criminal intimidation has been registered.
The police refrained from imposing Section 295 against the attackers. The section would have charged them with hurting religious sentiments of the complainant.
Mukhtiar Singh and two others were injured in the attack. He said all followers of the dera host congregations once a year. Today was his turn.
SSP R. K. Jaiswal said two assailants had been identified. "Raids were on to arrest them”, he said. He asserted that all citizens , irrespective of their religion, were safe and the police was protecting them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab : Wednesday 18th July 2007


‘Keep off religious matters’

Fatehgarh Sahib, State president of the Bharatiya Janata Party Rajinder Bhandari today said the party had kept silent on the dera issue as it considered that the political parties should not interfere in religious matters. Speaking to mediapersons at a local college at Alour, near here, Bhandari said the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) was playing a positive role in resolving the dera row. He, however, condemned the attack on the convoy of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh at Sirsa yesterday.
Bhandari said there were no differences between the BJP and the SAD and the two parties would share seats in the upcoming municipal elections just like they did in 1997 and 2000.

High Court Notice to Punjab over Dera chief’s plea

Chandigarh, Justice L.N. Mittal today issued notice of motion to Punjab over a petition by Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him by the Bathinda police.The petitioner, through his counsel S.K.Garg Narwana, submitted that the FIR was nothing but an abuse of process of law. It was averred that the petitioner had never imitated Guru Gobind Singh and never wore blue attire as alleged in the FIR.
The petitioner submitted that the FIR was based on “false, frivolous and absurd charges”. It was asserted in the petitoin that the FIR was based on newspaper photograph and even that photograph did not give impression that Guru Gobind Singh’s “pictorial presentation”. It was also alleged that the FIR was lodged after “consultations, deliberations and confabulations”. The next hearing is on September 28.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab: Tuesday 17th July 2007



AT ANY COST WE WILL STOP THE PROGRAM OF AUSOTOSH : GIANI TARLOCAN SINGH, JATHEDAR SHRI KESGARH ANANDPUR SAHIB

25 injured in clash Dera chief’s convoy attacked

Sirsa,At least 25 persons, including one RAF jawan, were injured, four of them seriously, in a clash between Sikhs and dera followers here today.
Security personnel control the unruly mob after a clash between Sikhs and followers of Dera Sacha Sauda at Ghukna Wali village in Sirsa district on Monday.
Trouble started when the Dera Sacha Sauda Chief was leaving after addressing a religious discourse at a dera in Ghukna Wali village, about 35 km from here. The paramilitary forces resorted to lathi charge and burst tear gas shells to disperse members of the two groups, who were pelting stone on each other. Members of both the groups were admitted to different hospitals and one of the seriously injured persons was referred to Hisar. As many as 18 persons were admitted to the local civil hospital.
The police has registered a case against the dera followers and Sikhs involved in the clash under Sections 148, 149, 332, 353, 295-A and 506 of the IPC on the statement of tesildar Amarjit Singh, who was present on the spot.
As many as 15 vehicles of dera chief’s convoy were also damaged in the clash. However, security personnel took the dera chief to dera headquarters through other link roads.
Later, Sikh protesters also blocked the national highway near Chor Mar. Tension mounted here after the dera chief, who was coming from Rajasthan along with his convoy, reached here to deliver a discourse. As the Sikhs came knew about it, they converged at a nearby gurdwara and marched towards the dera carrying black flags and swords showing their protest against "Naam Charcha" and gathered outside the dera.
The situation took an ugly turn when these protesters threw stones on the convoy of the dera chief, in retaliation the dera followers also hurled stones at them. Initially there were not enough police personnel to control them, later RAF and HAF personnel reached the spot and resorted to heavy lathi charge and also used tear gas to disperse members of both the groups.
Some of the houses of Sikhs near the dera were also allegedly attacked by the violent mob of dera followers.
The clash took place despite the fact that Ghukna Wali has been declared a sensitive area in view of the ongoing tussle between Sikhs and dera followers. The peace committee was also assured by the dera that no religious discourse would be held in sensitive areas. Intelligence agencies too had warned of such an incident.
The Deputy Commissioner V.Umashankar said the situation was under control now. Security has been tightened in the district and the areas near Rajasthan border.
After the incident both the groups accused each other, while Daljit Singh Dadu, head of gurdwara Sri Guru Granth Sahib alleged that the incident took place due to failure of the state government to prevent the dera chief from holding a religious discourse in the sensitive areas. He alleged that it was the dera followers who had attacked the peacefully protesting Sikhs first.
The dera spokesman Pawan Insan, however, said after the religious discourse Sikhs had attacked the dera chief’s convoy first.

RADICALS, SGPC-TAKHT SPLIT WIDE OPEN ON DERA ISSUE

Amritsar:The difference of opinion between Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Akal Takht on one hand and radical Sikh organisations under the banner of Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) on the other, is growing on the Dera Sacha Sauda issue.
The SGPC members and jathedars of various Takhts did not participate in yesterday’s march at Faridkot against the rising dera culture, leaving the radicals fuming. KAC convenor Bhai Mohkam Singh said they had given an open invitation to all Sikhs to participate in their “peaceful struggle” against the Dera. “SGPC members and Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti promised to participate, but changed their minds at the last minute, which is unfortunate,” he said. He said their weekly peace marches would be held as per schedule, with or without the SGPC and Jathedars.
“We are also trying to bring various Akali factions, Sant Samaj and student federations under one fold to intensify our struggle against the dera. Now the SGPC and Akal Takht are looking for excuses,” he said, adding that it was the SGPC’s fault that the deras were flourishing, as the Sikh body had failed in evangelism. He said they would again request the SGPC members and Jathedar Vedanti to participate in their next march on July 20 at Moga.
Co-convenor of KAC Kunwarpal Singh said they were surprised at the move of the SGPC and Akal Takht Jathedar, who had promised to take part in the march. “The SGPC and the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs are directly under control of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. They are working on directives from the Badal government,” he alleged, adding that several Akali factions, including SAD (1920) of Ravi Inder Singh and SAD (A) of Simranjit Singh Mann were with them.
Taking a dig at Jathedar Vedanti’s decision to rollback the Sikh conference at Ratia in Haryana, Kunwarpal said hundreds of Sikhs reached the spot despite the gathering having been called off by the Takht. SAD (A) general secretary Bhai Ram Singh said they would meet the Jathedar again to appeal that he should participate in their programmes. “After the marches, we will organise a congregation of Sikhs on the issue at some suitable place,” said Mohkam Singh.
SGPC president Jathedar Avtar Singh Makkar, meanwhile, said nobody, including KAC, should bypass the Akal Takht. “They should abide by the programmes being planned under the aegis of the Takht alone and any deviations are neither welcome nor should be encouraged,” he stated. He said some persons had been misled and had joined various deras, which, he said, was unfortunate.

DSGMC gets jolt Panel chief joins SGPC

Amritsar, The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) received a major jolt today when its Dharam Prachar Committee (DPC) chairman Tarsem Singh joined the Prachar Committee of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
Talking to newspersons, Tarsem said he had resigned from the chairmanship of the committee because of the dictatorial attitude of the Sarna brothers. He said a number of decisions taken by the Delhi committee led to differences among its members. The representatives of weaker sections were treated like slaves.
“The Sarna brothers were playing into the hands of those who were misusing the Delhi committee’s funds for promoting their personal interests”, he claimed.
He said though there was no interference by the Sarna brothers in the working of the DPC, it was not working for the promotion of the Sikh culture and religion. The DSGMC was coming close to the Congress.
Refuting the allegations of Tarsem, DSGMC president Harvinder Singh Sarna, told The Tribune that he (Tarsem) was not chairman of the DPC and had resigned from the chairmanship of a school committee. He alleged that Tarsem had resigned from the committee at the instance of SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal, who was enticing members to take control of the management of the DSGMC.

Sarna given clean chit

Fatehgarh Sahib, In a significant development, Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti gave a clean chit to DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna in the Dera Sacha Sauda controversy. While defending Sarna, Vedanti said that he could not be summoned to the Akal Takht for having met Dera Sacha Sauda chief on the basis of media reports.
The demand to summon Sarna to the Akal Takht had been raised by various Sikh organisations, which had objected to his having met the dera chief.
Vedanti, who was here to attend a ‘Gurmat Chetna Camp’ organised by the SGPC, stated that he would not take cognisance of media reports that Sarna had met the dera chief. He said that only if Sarna admitted before the takht that he had met the dera chief, an explanation could be sought from him.
He said that the Khalsa Action Committee was coming up with its own programmes without taking the takht into confidence. Contradicting the statement issued by SGPC chief Avtar Singh that birs could only be given to those who had faith in Guru Granth Sahib and not to those who believed in a dera chief, the Akal Takht Jathedar said that the takht had not debarred anyone from carrying the birs, provided that the Sikh maryada was not violated.

SGPC receives flak

Barnala, Former MP and advocate Raj Dev Singh Khalsa criticised the SGPC in failing to make any city in the state tobacco-free, despite the fact that three major takhts - Anandpur Sahib, Amritsar and Damdama Sahib - of the Sikhs are situated in the state.
Talking to press reporters here today, he said the SGPC had crores of rupees in its budget to tackle this issue, but had failed to create awareness among Sikh youths to abandon the use of tobacco which is the foremost principle of Sikhism.

Khalsa March From Roday Gets Great Response in spite of Bad Weather

Khalsa Action Committee organized a Khalsa March from Village Rode - District Moga (Native Village of Great Sikh Shaheed of 20 th Century, Sant Giani Jarnail Singh Ji Khasla Bhindranwale) to Faridkot. Thousands of Sikhs gathered at Gurudwara GurKirtan Parkash and Ardas was performed by Giani Harnam Singh Khasla Bhindranwale at the bigening of March. March was delayed due to heavy rain fall in the morning but weather failed to dampen the spirit of thousands of Sikhs who gathered at Rode to participate in the march. Gatherings were held throughout the march at various villages where KAC members addressed the Sikh Sangat. Members of Khalsa Action Committee, Representatives of Akali Dal (Amritsar), Sikh Students Federation, Damdami Taksal, Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Akali Dal (1920), Seva Socities and Sant Samaj participated in large number besides Sikh Sangat.

Sikh priests has no differences over dera issue, says Vedanti

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti Monday said that there were no differences among Jathedars of various Takhts over Dera Sacha Sauda issue.
Talking to media persons at Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib after presiding over ‘Special Gurmat Chetna Camp’, Vedanti said that Jathedars of all Takhts are taking decisions after thoroughly consulting each other. He said that reportss of Takht Sir Damdama Sahib Jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh is not satisfied with the Akal Takht over the Dera row and had submitted his resignation to him were mere rumours.
On the demand of summoning Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Paramjit Singh Sarna on Akal Takht , which is being raised by various Sikh organisations for holding meeting with Dera chief despite an edict issued by Akal Takht asking all Sikhs to boycott the Dera , Vedanti said that Sarna himself had never admitted before the Takht that he held meeting with the Dera chief after the boycott. He said that was only media reports that Sarna held parleys with the Dera chief.
He also refused to recognize Khalsa Action Committee (KAC). The SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar had already refused to recognize it. He said that Akal Takht is issuing directions from time to time in the Dera row so all the people and organisations should always follow it.

Mann's judicial remand extended till July 30

JALANDHAR: A local court on Monday extended judicial remand of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president, Simranjit Singh Mann, for 14 days in a sedition case registered against him by Punjab government.
Mann was presented before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Varinder Agarwal, who after listening to both defence and prosecution, extended the judicial remand of Mann till July 30.
Mann and other supporters were booked in sedition case for desecrating the statue of slain Chief Minister Beant Singh on May 13 by hanging placards having photos of his assassin Dilawar Singh and for also raising pro-Khalistan slogans

8 Thousand people take amrit through the SGPC'S Dharam Parchar Lahair



Monday, July 16, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab:Monday 16th July 2007

Security lapse at dera chief’s satsang



Abohar, Exposing poor security arrangements today some persons managed to reach Budhranwali village with swords in a tractor-trailer but the organisers of “Guru Manyo Granth” samagam prevented them from heading towards Dera Maujpur Dham at the same village in neighbouring Sadulshehar subdivision.
The police had virtually fortified the dera by deploying 10 companies of the RAC, STF and Home Guards and positioned anti-riot squads and fire-fighting vehicles. SP Sriganganagar and scores of DSPs were camping in Budhranwali to ensure incident-free satsang by Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
The Sikh advisory committee also held a parallel function at a small gurdwara, 200 m away from Dera Maujpur Dham



Cracks appear in SAD (A)


Amritsar, Cracks have appeared in the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) over the issue of the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) even as Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the party today met at Fatehgarh Sahib to resolve differences.
Secretary-general of the party Bhai Ram Singh, who had announced that the SAD(A) had dissociated from the KAC , however, hoped that matter would be resolved in the PAC meeting .
Most of the senior Akali leaders close to Mann stayed away from the march today. On the other hand , Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti , jathedar, Akal Takht, who was specially invited to participate in the Khalsa march by the organisers, also stayed away. SGPC members of the ruling Akali Dal were also absent from the march. However, Kanwarpal Singh, a spokesman of the Dal Khalsa, said Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa , chief, Damdami Taksal participated in the march.
On the other hand the Sikh Nation Organisation , headed by Dr Manjit Singh Randhawa, has alleged that Jathedar Vedanti had lost all moral right to continue.



Sikh bodies hold march


Rhode (Baghapurana), A number of Sikh organisations, including radical groups, under the banner of the Khalsa Action Committee took out a march, the first of the six marches announced by the committee, from the native village of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, 32 km from Moga, today. Before the march, led by Panj Piaras, began, ardas was offered at Gurdwara Kirtan Prakash. A large number of Nihangs participated in it.
The administration made heavy police arrangements with traffic and women police at hand. Even BSF personnel were also deployed at certain places.
Apart from convener of the committee Bhai Mohkam Singh, former Jathedar of the Akal Takht Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, head of Damdami Taksal Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma, Ravi Inder Singh, Kanwarpal Singh and SGPC members from opposition were present.



Sikh leaders condemn raid on gurdwara


Fatehgarh Sahib, Sikh leaders today condemned the raiding of a gurdwara in Talwara village by the district police on July 2. In a meeting held on the premises of the gurdwara, the leaders demanded strict action against the SHO who raided the shrine.
Sikh leaders, including president of Damdami Taksal (Sarawan) Baba Ram Singh, SAD (A) vice-president Dhian Singh Mand, SAD (A) general secretaries Bhai Ram Singh, Mahinder Pal Singh and Surinder Singh said the police had outraged the `Sikh maryada', adding that the police’s action reminded them of Operation Blue Star.
The police had allegedly seized religious books from the library of the gurdwara. However, the police denied the allegations, stating that the SHO had gone to the gurdwara to pay obeisance and on his way back was handed over two religious books by the gurdwara granthi.
The Sikh leaders said the police was trying to give a twist to the whole incident.



Khalsa March From Roday Gets Great Response in spite of Bad Wether


Rode to Fridkot :Khalsa Action Committee organized a Khalsa March from Village Rode - District Moga (Native Village of Great Sikh Shaheed of 20 th Century, Sant Giani Jarnail Singh Ji Khasla Bhindranwale) to Faridkot. Thousands of Sikhs gathered at Gurudwara GurKirtan Parkash and Ardas was performed by Giani Harnam Singh Khasla Bhindranwale at the bigening of March. March was delayed due to heavy rain fall in the morning but weather failed to dampen the spirit of thousands of Sikhs who gathered at Rode to participate in the march. Gatherings were held throughout the march at various villages where KAC members addressed the Sikh Sangat. Members of Khalsa Action Committee, Representatives of Akali Dal (Amritsar),Nihungs, Sikh Students Federation, Damdami Taksal, Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Akali Dal (1920), Seva Socities and Sant Samaj participated in large number besides Sikh Sangat. Bhai Daljit Singh also participated in this march. He was expected not to participate in march as it was considered that he may be arrested by the police. Bhai Daljit Singh addressed the Press at the bigening of the march. He made speech before gathering of Sikh Sangat at various villages durring the march. When activities of Police and intelligence was on its' peek to trap Bhai Daljit Singh he suddenly disappeared from the march. After that police searched from outside almost all vehicals many times to find Bhai Daljit Singh. Sikh Youth participated in march in large number. They raised slogans like "Raj Karega Khasla" - Panth Ki Jeet - Bhindranwale Sant Sipahee Jis Ne Suti Quam Jagai - Sarkaare Tere Kam Nikame Phir Kahengi Kharku Jamme.



Participation by Bhai Daljit Singh



Bhai Daljit Singh also participated in this march. He was expected not to participate in march as it was considered that he may be arrested by the police. Bhai Daljit Singh addressed the Press at the bigening of the march. He made speech before gathering of Sikh Sangat at various villages durring the march. When activities of Police and intelligence was on its' peek to trap Bhai Daljit Singh he suddenly disappeared from the march. After that police searched from outside almost all vehicals many times to find Bhai Daljit Singh.


Youth participated in large number



Sikh Youth participated in march in large number. They raised slogans like "Raj Karega Khasla" - Panth Ki Jeet - Bhindranwale Sant Sipahee Jis Ne Suti Quam Jagai - Sarkaare Tere Kam Nikame Phir Kahengi Kharku Jamme.



Dera chief's car attacked



Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim's motorcade near Ghunkawali village in Haryana on Monday afternoon.The Dera chief was returning to Sirsa after attending a satsang in a nearby village.In retaliation to the attack, Dera supporters threw stones at Sikh protesters in the area. According to reports, the police resorted to lathicharge and fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters.Paramilitary forces have been deployed in the area to prevent further clashes in the area, where the situation is now under control.



Sikh community, Dera followers hold religious prayers


Jaipur, : Followers of the controversial Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda and the Sikh community today held separate religious prayers amidst prohibitory orders and tight security at a village in Rajasthan's Sriganganagar district.
Both sects engaged in their religious work peacefully since morning, District Collector B S Detha said.
Prohibitory orders were imposed and armed security personnel deployed in Budharwali village yesterday after the two communities decided to hold religious meetings.
Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh organised a 'satsang' at its Naam Charcha Ghar, located close to a gurdwara where a 'bhakt samagam' and prayers were held by Sikhs, he said.
Thousands of Dera followers and Sikhs attended the two functions, he said.
Superintendent of Police Vineeta Thakur said preventive arrests were made in some parts of the district and Bikaner's Inspector-General of Police and divisional commissioner had gone to the area to monitor the situation.
Rajasthan Armed Police and Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed in the village, Thakur said.
The Dera also deployed its own private security guards at Naam Charcha Ghar and set up metal detectors, sources said.
Security was also stepped up at Rajasthan's borders with Punjab and Haryana and the movement of public vehicles stopped till tomorrow evening, Detha said.
The Dera chief, who arrived in Rajasthan yesterday, had agreed to address his followers in a peaceful manner, he said.
People have been advised not to carry weapons, not to hold any religious meetings except these two, not to make any inflammatory speeches and to avoid the use of loudspeakers at public places, he said.


Akal Takht Jathedar offers one more opportunity to dera chief to apologise

AMRITSAR: Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti on Saturday extended one more opportunity to dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh to tender an apology wholeheartedly to restore peace in Punjab.
Vedanti's statement came in response to request of a delegation of nearly 15 people from Sirsa town of Haryana who met him and asked to find out peaceful solution of present crises. The delegation presented to Vedanti a letter signed by 10 lakh people. The delegation journalists, industrialists, Advocates and heads of various organizations
Vedanti to the visiting delegation that if the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda sect come forward carrying pious intention with apology, the burning situation of Punjab and Haryana could be normalized.'Let him tender an unconditioal apology to Sikh community", Vedanti said.
Adding further Vedanti said that mere apology would not heal the wounded hearts of Sikh community and that is why Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh has to give assurance to Sikh community that in future he would never repeat the blasphemous act which has hurt the Sikh sentiments by and large.
Talking about the earlier two apologies sent by the Dera Sacha Sauda, Vedant described them mere press notes since the language used in the text was not proper and reflected high
Launching scathing attack on the practice of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh the way he was running his dera, Vedanti said that his practice is deadly against the tenets of Sikhism. His all the actions describes that he has no respect for the Sikh religion and even for Islam and Christianity, Vedanti quipped.
Vedanti added that dera head had no respect for tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh Singh, the way Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh has distributed "amrit" (nectar) while attired in a dress similar to that of Sikh Guru.


SGPC Chief asks Rajasthan govt to deal strictly with dera head

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar said on Saturday that Rajasthan government should deal strictly with dera Sacha Sauda chief who is holding 'naam charcha' in Sri Ganganagar on July 15. He also advised dera Chief to apologise with all sincerety to end the Dera row.
Talking to newsmen at Fathegarh Sahib Makkar said that it was duty of the Rajasthan government to maintain law and order situation. He said that the Dera chief is making all attempts to create tension and disturb peace so he is holding 'Naam Charcha' in Sri Ganaganager area.
He said that SGPC had intensified its drive of propagation of Sikhism and a large number of people is being baptized daily during the 'Amrit Sanchar Lehar' of SGPC . When asked when will SAD Acting President Sukhbir Badal baptized, he evaded reply.
On some incidents of not providing birs of Guru Granth Sahib to dera premis, Makkar said that these religious birs could be given only to those persons, which has faith in Guru Granth Sahib, not to those persons, who had faith in people like Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.
On withdrawal of call of Ratia conclave in Haryana, Makkar while justifying the reason of Akal Takht said that it was cancelled to avoid confrontation.
He announced that Bhai Gurdas Literary Committees should be set up in every college of SGPC, which would work for propagation of Sikhism and raise voice against various social evils like female foeticide. He said that Sikh youths, who will work in significant way , will be honoured by Baba Fateh Singh award. Mata Gujri College principal Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, MGC Managing Committee Additional Secretary Ranjit Singh Libra, former minister Randhir Singh Cheema also expressed his views.


Dhian Singh Mand to head SAD (Amritsar)

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Former Member Parliament and Sikh militant leader Dhian Singh Mand will now lead Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) in place of Simranjit Singh Mann who is in jail in a sedition case.
The party had earlier asked senior vice president Daljit Singh Bittu to head the party but he has also been booked in sedition case and court has cancelled his pre-arrest bail.
The party office secretary Ranjit Singh Cheema on behalf of Simranjit Singh Mann released a statement in which he said that in the light of the party's senior vice president Daljit Singh's cancellation of bail, the party has decided that the next senior most party leader Dhian Singh Mand, vice president of the party will be the leader of the party. He said that all major decisions of the party will however be taken by Political Affairs Committee.


DERA CHIEF ESCAPES UNHURT, 8 INJURED RED ALERT IN PUNJAB

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh escaped unhurt when his convoy was attacked this afternoon during a clash between his followers and the Sikh community in a village, 30 km from here, leaving eight persons injured and sparking tension in the town where para military forces were called in.
The incident occurred when the Dera chief, who was returning from Rajasthan`s Sriganganagar district after a religious discourse, halted at Gukanwale village on the insistence of his followers, who wanted an audience with him. After the attack, the Dera head was brought to his headquarters using a different route, police said.
While police resorted to mild lathicharge and used tear gas to disperse the warring groups, paramilitary personnel were deployed in the town to prevent further escalation of violence. While Dabwali`s (the town near the place of incident) Deputy Superintendent of Police Wazir Singh said that eight persons were injured in the attack, the Dera sources claimed at least 12 people, including some sect followers and the security personnel accompanying the Dera head, were wounded and have been admitted to civil hospital at Sirsa.
Window panes of many other vehicles were also smashed in the incident, police said. The Sikh community members of neighbouring Chormar village also held protest following the clashes. Meanwhile, Sirsa deputy commissioner V Umashankar said that the authorities had advised the Dera head not to halt anywhere along the way, but he stopped in the village and this aggravated the situation.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab:Sunday 15th July 2007


Security up as dera chief holds meeting

The Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh addressed a gathering inside Dera Maujpur Dham at Budhranwali village in neighbouring Sadulshehar subdivision of Sriganganagar district today and last evening. He had arrived yesterday in a cavalcade of more than 100 vehicles. Senior civil and police officials escorted it as it entered from the Haryana border.
Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar SPs had a meeting with the dera chief to pursue him for cancelling the satsang on Sunday but he refused. Most of the members of the supreme committee of the dera were accompanying him.

Boycott of ‘premis’ unacceptable: Cong

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Shamsher Singh Dullo has announced that the "gurmata" (the holy resolution) of Sikh clergy, calling for a boycott of followers of Dera Sacha Sauda was "unacceptable" to the Congress, saying that they (Congress leaders) would continue to meet "premis" (followers of Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh).
Talking to mediapersons here today, Dullo alleged that the Sikh high priests had been working at the behest of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and hence the edicts or directives being pronounced by jathedars had lost sanctity.
Dullo refused to come forward for mediation between Dera Sacha Sauda and Sikhs. He, however, said his party would cooperate with the ruling SAD/BJP in resolving the impasse.

‘Cong to blame’

SGPC chief Avtar Singh said Dullo, being a ‘patit’ Sikh, had no right to comment on the Sikh institutions. He alleged that the Congress was responsible for the ongoing dera row.

Sirsa team meets Vedanti

Efforts to resolve the Dera Sacha Sauda-Sikh row received a major boost when a 25-member delegation “Shanti Samiti, Sirsa” today met Jathedar Akal Takht urging him to resolve the issue as early as possible in a peaceful manner.
The delegation included doctors, journalists, advocates, businessmen and leaders of various social and political organisations from Sirsa.
Talking to newspersons, leader of the delegation Jagdish Raj Chopra said they had come here not only with the signatures but also with the emotions and sentiments of one lakh people of his district to appeal Jathedar of Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti to find a peaceful solution to the dera row. He said the people of Sirsa also condemned the alleged blasphemous act of the dera chief Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and wanted that normalcy should return to the two states.
Chopra said they had also met the dera chief two days ago and had received a positive response from him in resolving the dera row. He claimed that the dera chief was also ready to take steps to resolve the issue, including sending a fresh apology.
The dera followers ended their 25-day chain fast on the instructions of the dera chief.

Dera chief trying to corrupt atmosphere

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar said the Dera Sacha Sauda chief was trying to vitiate the atmosphere by hold a 'Naam Charha' in Sri Ganganager, Rajasthan, tomorrow.
Speaking to mediapersons on the premises of Mata Gujri College, Makkar said the Rajasthan government should thwart the move of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh so that law and order was maintained.
Makkar said nothing could be done to resolve the dera row till the chief apologised in real sense. Playing down the claims made by former Akal Takht jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh that the SGPC and the KAC did nothing to resolve the row, Makkar stated that Bhai Ranjit Singh had himself done nothing in this direction and had no moral right to issue such statements.
Reacting to a question, Makkar said religious birs could only be given to those who have faith in the Guru Granth Sahib and not to those who have faith in dera leaders.
Defending the move of the Akal Takht to call off the Ratia conclave in Haryana, Makkar said the decision had been taken to avoid any confrontation.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab: Saturday 14th July 2007

CBI closes in on Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim
Sadhvis say they were raped

http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/44786/cbi-ready-to-nail-dera-chief-for-murder-rape.html - The truth of this murderer, rapist Gurmit Raam Rahim the CBI has carried out investigations.

Sirsa: The CBI has indicated that it has enough evidence to convict Sacha Sauda dera head Gurmeet Ram Ram. One Sadhvi has said that she was raped for three years by the Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
The CBI has also procured many records of medical treatment and hospitalisation of sadhvis at the Dera hospital.
As the doomsday nears for the Dera Sacha Sauda's murder and molestation of girls-accused head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, desperate efforts have been unleashed by the Sirsa camp to ward off the imminent danger.
Even as top sources in the CBI confirmed that the federal sleuthing agency investigating the murder case is all set to submit the report on July 31 to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, new revelations have hit media headlines. It seems three sadhvis of the dera have now gone on record before the CBI alleging rape against the dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
On Thursday, the dera tried an another ace, writing a letter in the name of the people of India and claiming innocence in terms which only damn the dera head.
In its letter to the nation, written after the directive of the Akal Takht to the Sikhs to maintain integrity of the country, the Dera said that tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, had pardoned Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for cruelty shown towards the Sahibzadas and other family kin of the Guru, and the Guru did so to preserve peace and brotherhood to prevail in the society.
"Is it not disrespect of the Gurbani and the Gurus that three apologies submitted by the Dera have been disregarded?" the letter added.
It also claimed that the Dera chief can't even think of imitating the tenth Guru.
What the dera's spin masters probably could not interpret was that all said and done, they were comparing their chief to infamous Aurangzeb, not a comparison that would make the dera happy.

IHRO Condemns Blockade on Khalsa March

Ludhiana, Punjab - The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) today censured severely the Punjab government and UT administration for barricading and preventing the Khalsa March at Mohali which was going to hold a peaceful sit-in before the residences of Punjab and Haryana chief ministers to highlight the Sikh grievances against the Dera "Sacha Sauda."
The IHRO chairperson D S Gill, general secretary M S Grewal, legal coordinator Sukhdev Singh Ramgarh Sibian and public relations secretary Inderjit Kaur also blamed both the Punjab and Haryana administrations for their inaction in bringing to book the cult head Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.
While holding Parkash Singh Badal, the Punjab chief minister and president of the SAD, responsible for putting pressure on Akal Takht, through his henchman, Avtar Singh Makkar, the SGPC chief to alter its edicts and decisions in tune with their nefarious political designs, for which they said, the people of Punjab would not forgive his regime which has indulged itself in the political gimmicks, as no Sikh worth his salt, will continue to tolerate the illegal activities of the Dera head.
Not only that, they said, the Opposition leader in the Punjab State Assembly openly supports the cause of the criminal cult leader just for petty electoral gains, adding that the dera head should be arrested along with such collaborators under 120-B of the IPC in all these incidents of crime as they are deliberately and maliciously instigating the offenders.
The IHRO activists further added: "The response of the Haryana Congress to the Sikh nation is not encouraging either, and it may go the Bhajan Lal way as it has been during the Asian games in 1982. So, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda needs to be more vigilant to understand the gravity of the matter and the wrath of the Sikh people against the culprits."
We also call upon all the Sikh groups, irrespective of their political affiliations and leadership crisis, to sink their differences and come together with the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) under the patronage of Akal Takht so long as it carries the spirit of the Khalsa Panth in order to bring to book the culprits and establish peace in the state.

Khalsa Action Committee Protest March Halted

Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar – The Khalsa Protest March organized by the Khalsa Action Committee was halted by the Punjab Police even before it commenced from Gurdwara Amb Sahib. The march was held with several motives, amongst those: the arrest of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, release of S. Simranjit S. Mann, bail of various Singhs arrested in connection with attacking ‘Jhoota Sauda’ deras in Punjab, retracting of charges against Daljit S. Bittu and other Singhs, were the priorities.
The protest was going to be held in collaboration with various political and panthic jathebandis, including Shiromani Akal Dal (A), Shiromani Akali Dal 1920, Majha Akali Dal, Dal Khalsa, Damdami Taksal, Akhand Kirtani Jatha and others. According to the initial plans, the Khalsa Action Committee had decided to hold peaceful protests outside the houses of the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers.
All necessary planning was carried out by an eleven member committee instituted by the Khalsa Action Committee. This committee included members of various Sikh organizations. These members had already performed ardas and taken hukamnama to initiate the march, but upon leaving the Gurdwara Sahib, it was discovered that the large police force that was deployed around Gurdwara Amb Sahib had sealed the road from both sides which stopped the march from going any further.
According to Mr. R.S. Charta, SSP Mohali, the Khalsa Action Committee had not sought special orders to carry out the march and thus carrying out the march without court orders would be considered illegal. The police intervention was however declared superfluous by members of the Khalsa Action Committee. Bhai Mohkam Singh, main spokesperson of the Khalsa Action Committee held that permission was sought in advance from the Chandigarh Police and the Punjab Police intervention was wrongful and unnecessary.
Bhai Mohkam Singh further blamed Parkash Badal’s Government for failing to upkeep law and order in Punjab. He said that if Parkash Badal’s Government had shown any interest in honoring the sentiments of the Sikh community, Gurmeet Ram Rahim would have been arrested by now. He said that despite the fact that Gurmeet Ram Rahim has various types of criminal charges pending against him in court, the Punjab Government is still trying to save him.
Several other Sikh leaders also expressed grief over the cancellation of the march. On the other hand, Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh showed complete surprise after seeing a letter printed on Akal Takhat Sahib’s letterhead asking the Sikh Sangat to withdraw the protest march. Other Sikh leadership however lashed out at Parkash Badal for once again forcing the Akal Takhat Sahib Jathedar to take actions under his political influence.
It was announced by the Khalsa Action Committee that all future programs would be held according to the schedule, along with the mega-convention. These programs will be carried out regardless of the wishes of the State Government and they will be held to achieve the same motives.
It was also learnt that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had played a big role in the cancellation of the protest march. According to Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, SAD General Secretary and Tarlochan Singh, member of Haryana Rajya Sabha who expressed relief after the march was cancelled, Badal and Hooda followed the directions of Manmohan Singh when banning the march.

Unrest continues between Sirsa Cult and Sikh Sangat

Firozpur, Punjab – Months after Gurmeet Ram Rahim carried out his blasphemous act of mimicking Guru Gobind Singh Ji, tensions are still high in several parts of Punjab and neighboring states. This past week, just as the Khalsa Protest March had trouble in the hands of the Punjab Police, in another incident that took place here at Firozpur, the Punjab Police once against acted ruthlessly when a group of peaceful Sikh protestors started a protest outside the Dera of the Sacha Sauda cult.
Meanwhile tempers were simmering after the funeral of premi Jaswinder Sinh, the cult follower who had earlier committed suicide. Dera followers announced that they would be holding the controversial 'Naam-charcha' program on July 13th despite the fact that they were banned from holding such programs by Akal Takht Sahib and the Sikh Sangat. In reaction, local Panthic activists have pledged to stop any such function in their neighborhood.
Tensions rose in Firozpur when a group of Sikh protestors staged a fresh protest against a ‘naam charcha’ program that was organized by local Dera Sacha Sauda followers. The Sikh protestors held that the dera followers should not be allowed to hold these naam charchas because principles of the Sikh religion are many times insulted during the discourses. The Sikh delegation also asked that the ‘Ik Onkar’ symbol be removed from outside of the gate as the dera principals are not in alignment with the Sikh religion.
Tensions arose when the police refused to act upon the demands of the Sikhs. The Sikh protestors then took it upon themselves to remove the ‘Ik Onkar’ insignia from the gate of the dera. Although the ‘Ik Onkar’ is a religious symbol of the Sikhs, the police acted furiously and started to baton charge the Sikh protestors. Tear gas was also used to ‘control’ the protestors. Sikh Sangat vehicles were also infringed upon by the police in the process.
When the Sikhs realized that the police were going out of control, the Sikh Sangat started throwing rocks at the police. This helped discharge the police, but as a consequence of the clash, several Sikhs, over ten policemen and two press reporters had to be admitted to the local civil hospital.
After the situation was under control, a group of Sikh protestors told the press that the dera followers had challenged the local Sikhs to try stopping their naam charcha. It was because of these challenges that the local Sikh Youth felt the need to stop the naam charcha. Sikh protestors gathered outside the dera congregation in the early morning. At that time, only a few CRP men were present there who later asked the Punjab Police for help. When the Punjab Policemen reached the spot, they acted harshly and baton charged the protestors. The police troop was being headed by Dinesh Partap Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police.

Indian State's interference in Sikh Religious matters is unwarranted

Bhai Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu (Senior Vice President, Akali Dal Amritsar) held a press conference in Chandigarh. He claimed that Indian State is interfering in religious matters of Sikhs and this is unauthorized interference. He accused that State is ignoring sentiments of Sikh Nation and trying to forcibly suppressing Sikh movement in dera issue. For instance, he said, State stopped many persons and leaders from participating 9 July dharna in Mohali held by KAC. He informed SAD (A) youth leader S. Mandhir SIngh and his Jatha were stopped by Ropar Police. Similarly, Dal Khalsa Jatha was also stoped at Ropar. There are other incidents of like nature also. He said State is on its' way of closing all peaceful means of protest and this is extremely dangerous. He said if situation goes out of control the whole responsibility shall be on Central and State Government and its' agencies. Commenting on postponing Ratia convention he said firstly established Sikh Leadership takes decision without consulting Sikh Sangat and then postpone it under State Pressure. This trend is reducing the credibility of this leadership. As on 08 July S. Ram Singh of SAD (A) has announced in a press conference that SAD (A) has separated itself from Khalsa Action Committee, Bhai Bittu said that it may be thinking an individual and it is not decision of the party. He said we joined KAC after deciding for it in a Political Affairs Committee, and only PAC has the right to decide in this regard. On charges of Sedition against him and S. Simranjeet SIngh Maan and others, Bhai Daljit SIngh said that State is misusing law and legal process to trap Sikh leaders. He said role of Judiciary in this matter is also discouraging. It is worth notable that stay on arrest of Bhai Daljit Singh in a sedition case at Fatehgarh Sahib is vacated by the court of Addn. Sessions Judge on 4 July, the day when court rejected bail application. Meanwhile on 09 July the High Court has asked the Punjab Government to file reply by 02 August on bail application filed by Bhai Daljit SIngh in High Court through his council, Advo. Navkiran Singh, But the court has not stayed arrest of Bhai Bittu and police is in his search.

SGPC and KAC failed to resolve Dera Sacha Sauda issue : Bhai Ranjit Singh Ji

Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab - Former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh said that SGPC and the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) had failed to resolve the Dera Sacha Sauda row.
Talking to media persons at SGPC run Gurdwara Sri Fatehgarh Sahib, Bhai Ranjit Singh accompanied by senior SAD(Amritsar) leader Emaan Singh Mann alleged that KAC lacked the will and the SGPC was `just a puppet’ in the hands of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal so the Dera row could not be resolved.
He said that both had failed to carry out the directives issued by the Akal Takht. He said that both the organizations were misleading the Sikh masses. He said no concrete measures had been taken till date that could force the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda to come and apologies at the Akal Takht.
Replying to a question, Bhai Ranjit Singh said that he and his supporter would join hands only with a committed Sikh organization, which really intended to resolve this issue and had the will to carry out the directives issued by the Akal Takht.
He said that the Dera chief had tried to run down the authorities of Akal Takht by sending apology letters that had been written by his followers and not by him. He said that instead the Dera chief should personally appear before the Akal Takht to tender an unconditional apology.
Bhai Ranjit Singh later visited the Talwara village near Sirhind, from where some religious books were alleged taken into custody by Fatehgarh Sahib Police from the Gurdwara library. He said that police could not have raided the Gurdwara without any prior knowledge of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Badal.

Akal Takht Jathedar statement is confusing : SSF

Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab - Commenting on statement of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, in which he asked Sikhs to keep Unity and integrity of India , Sikh Students Federation (SSF) President Parmjeet Singh Gazi said that this statement was unnecessary and confusing.
Talking to media persons, Gazi said during struggle against blasphemous act of Dera Sauda Sirsa (DSS), so far Sikhs have not done anything which can be regarded as a danger to unity and integrity of country. So there was no need to give such a statement. SSF sees state pressure behind this statement. He said since Salabatpura episode a lot of physical as well as psychological violence has been done against Sikhs.
He accused that Indian State and Government of Punjab is totally ignoring sentiments and feelings of Sikhs. False charges of sedition against Sikhs, episodes like Ferozepore, non-activeness of State against dera head and excessive use of police force to suppress Sikh Struggle are steps towards closing all peaceful democratic means of protest. What ever is termed as misguided and ulterior acts in Akal Takht Jathedar statement is just an expression of anger and feelings of Sikh Nation.
He said Unity and Integrity of Sikh Nation is more important for Sikhs than unity and integrity of any geographical area. He said unity and integrity of Sikh nation has a threat from deras and Giani Joginder Singh along with all Sikhs is duty bound to protect Unity of Sikh Nation. SSF urges the Akal Takht Jathedar to refrain from issuing unnecessary and confusing statements under any kind of pressure.



Friday, July 13, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab: Friday 13th July 2007


Avtar Singh, KAC chief trade charges

Amritsar, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) chief Bhai Mohkam Singh have crossed swords over seeking extension of the term of SGPC chief from the present one year to two-and-a-half years.
Both, KAC chief and SGPC president also traded charges of “siphoning of” gurdwara funds. Bhai Mohkam Singh said the SGPC must take Sikh masses and Panthic organisations into confidence before seeking the extension of the term of SGPC’s office-bearers.
While refuting the charges of Bhai Mohkam Singh that the Ratia Sikh conclave was postponed on the “directions” of the union home minister, the SGPC chief said this issue never cropped up at the meeting between SGPC delegation and the minister in New Delhi. “The delegation had simply sought acceptance of long-standing demands of the Sikhs, including handing over the rare manuscripts taken by the Army during Operation Bluestar,” he said.
The SGPC chief described Bhai Mohkam Singh a person of “dubious character” who had been “misleading” the Sikh masses for his “vested interests”. He said if the working of the SGPC was not up to the mark and there were reports of siphoning of gurdwara funds, then Bhai Mohkam Singh must tell his brother to resign as supervisor in the SGPC.
Meanwhile, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, met Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti at his official residence here to lodge their protest for postponing the Sikh conclave at Ratia in Haryana.
They also urged Jathedar Vedanti to lead the KAC march proposed to be launched on July 15 from the residence of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale at Rode village. Though Jathedar Vedanti has assured his participation, yet sources say that he was unlikely to visit the residence of Sant Bhinderanwale to mark the beginning of the march.

‘Nandgarh has not resigned’

Amritsar, Dispelling speculations that Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh has resigned as Jathedar of Takht Nandgarh, SGPC chief Avtar Singh has said such rumours are being spread by some mischievous persons with a motive to create confusion in the Sikh Panth.
In a press note issued here today, the SGPC chief said Jathedar Nandgarh had been working for the Panth. Hence, there was no question of his stepping down as Jathedar.
Meanwhile, Jathedar Nandgarh remained inaccessible to the Sikh Sangat. His cellphone has been on the switched-off mode for the third consecutive day.

SAD (A) memo to Takht

Amritsar, Demanding strict action against the police officials who entered into a gurdwara in Talwara village, Fatehgarh Sahib, and took away books and photographs of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala, Bhai Beant Singh, Bhai Satwant Singh, Kehar Singh, Sukhdev Singh Sukha and others, the SAD (A) today presented a memorandum to Akal Takht here today.
Member of the SGPC Harcharn Singh Burjhari, along with other leaders, has urged the Jathedar of Akal Takht to immediately intervene.

CBI closes in on Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim
Sadhvis say they were raped


Sirsa: The CBI has indicated that it has enough evidence to convict Sacha Sauda dera head Gurmeet Ram Ram. One Sadhvi has said that she was raped for three years by the Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
The CBI has also procured many records of medical treatment and hospitalisation of sadhvis at the Dera hospital.
As the doomsday nears for the Dera Sacha Sauda's murder and molestation of girls-accused head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, desperate efforts have been unleashed by the Sirsa camp to ward off the imminent danger.
Even as top sources in the CBI confirmed that the federal sleuthing agency investigating the murder case is all set to submit the report on July 31 to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, new revelations have hit media headlines. It seems three sadhvis of the dera have now gone on record before the CBI alleging rape against the dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
On Thursday, the dera tried an another ace, writing a letter in the name of the people of India and claiming innocence in terms which only damn the dera head.
In its letter to the nation, written after the directive of the Akal Takht to the Sikhs to maintain integrity of the country, the Dera said that tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, had pardoned Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for cruelty shown towards the Sahibzadas and other family kin of the Guru, and the Guru did so to preserve peace and brotherhood to prevail in the society.
"Is it not disrespect of the Gurbani and the Gurus that three apologies submitted by the Dera have been disregarded?" the letter added.
It also claimed that the Dera chief can't even think of imitating the tenth Guru.
What the dera's spin masters probably could not interpret was that all said and done, they were comparing their chief to infamous Aurangzeb, not a comparison that would make the dera happy.

Dera Follower

Bathinda :Chakk Attar Singh Wala, the native village of Jaswinder , a dera follower who had burnt himself to death in Sirsa, was today fortified with heavy police deployment. Stringent checks were imposed on the movement of people.
The bhog ceremony of Jaswinder is slated to be held in the village on Friday and dera followers have announced to hold a 'naam charcha' on the occasion. As a preventive measure, the police today took about 20 dera followers into custody. Police said the arrests were made on the basis of the case registered against dera followers for attacking cops on May 15 outside Mini-Secretariat.
"Among the arrested persons are Gurcharan Mann and Ajaib , who are members of a seven-member committee of the dera," said sources. "Given yesterday's sequence of events during cremation ceremony of other dera follower in Bathinda, we had apprehensions that the persons who have been arrested today can trigger an untoward incident during the bhog ceremony," Bathinda SSP Naunihal said.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that father of Jaswinder and the dera committee moved two separate applications to the district administration for allowing the satsang during the bhog ceremony. While the Bathinda DC was not available for comments despite repeated attempts, highly-placed officials said a conditional permission was given by the DC in which "he had asked to use only deceased's house for holding the ceremony and that too in the presence of family members and close relatives only". In Bathinda, paramilitary and Punjab Police continued to hold flag marches at regular intervals throughout the day.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab: Thursday 12th July 2007


Gurmatta Withdrawal Nandgarh, Samaj lodge protest with Vedanti


Amritsar, Even as Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa and senior Panthic leaders held a closed-door meeting with Jathedar of Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti over withdrawing “Gurmatta” for holding a Sikh conclave at Ratia in Haryana, the Sant Samaj has convened a meeting at Damdama Sahib on July 19 to discuss the next course of action in the dera controversy.
Baba Harnam Singh claimed that the Sikh high priests, including Jathedar Vedanti, would attend the proposed meeting at Damdama Sahib.
It was learnt that Jathedar Nandgarh lodged his protest with Jathedar Vedanti for taking decision to withdraw the “Gurmatta” without taking him (Jathedar Nandgarh) into confidence. The unscheduled meeting was held at the residence of Jathedar Vedanti and it lasted for more than two hours.
The religious leaders tried to persuade Jathedar Vedanti to hold a march to Ratia, to which the latter refused. A section of the Sant Samaj had described the volte face by Jathedar Vedanti regarding the proposed conclave as “unprecedented” in the Sikh history.
It is believed that Jathedar Nandgarh told Jathedar Vedanti that with the withdrawal of the “Gurmatta”, the institution of Akal Takht had been denigrated.
Though Jathedar Akal Takht could take independent decision on an issue, as per Sikh traditions, he had never reversed the “Gurmatta” passed by five Sikh high priests in the past without taking all of them into confidence.
Meanwhile, the chief of Damdami Taksal said the meeting of the Sant Samaj, which was proposed to be held at Ferozepur on July 13, had been advanced to July 12.
He said Sikh leaders would meet the Ferozepur administration to withdraw cases registered against Sikhs following clashes with followers of the dera.

Case against Akali leaders sought Dera follower cremated

Bathinda, Dera Sacha Sauda follower Sham Sunder Bansal, who died after setting himself afire to lodge his protest against the alleged harassment of followers of the sect by Akali leaders, was cremated at the local cremation ground amid tight security.
As the situation was tense in the town, policemen and paramilitary forces were deployed at various places.
Meanwhile, SHO of the city police station Harwinder Singh Virk said a case under Section 309 of the IPC was registered against Bansal on July 8. However, the section in the case had been changed to 306 of the IPC (forcing a person to commit suicide).
He said Bansal had not levelled allegations against anyone that he was forced to commit suicide. He had mentioned in his statement that Sandhu and Sarup Chand Singla were present at the function, the SHO added.
Meanwhile, the police had to face tough time taking the vehicle carrying the body of Bansal to the cremation ground.
Earlier, followers of the dera staged a dharna in front of the vehicle carrying the body at Bansal’s house in Paras Ram Nagar. They demanded that a criminal case be registered against Akali leaders, including a former minister, for harassment of members of the sect.
They let the vehicle moved to the cremation ground after a senior functionary of the dera assured them that a criminal case had been registered against two Akali leaders.
On the way, too, hundreds of followers staged a dharna in front of the Paras Ram Nagar police post, demanding the copy of the FIR in the immolation case.
The body was cremated according to the rituals of the sect.

Dayal urges dera chief to settle issue

Chandigarh, Dr Joginder Dayal, member of the national executive of the CPI, here today urged the chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda to reciprocate in a positive manner to the decision taken by Giani Joginder Singh, Jathedar of Akal Takht, with regard to the cancellation of the Sikh convention at Ratia.
He said the dera chief should come forward to settle all issues with those who had been feeling hurt because of his certain actions. He said the dera chief should confine himself only to religious activity and should have nothing to do with politics.
“It was wrong on the part of dera management to extend open support to a particular party,” he added. “If the dera chief is interested in politics, he should come out openly into the political arena,” said Dr Dayal.
Dr Dayal has urged the Sikh clergy to withdraw the call of social boycott of dera premis. “Social boycott is not desirable in our society. For centuries, Dalits have been suffering because of their social boycott by upper classes.”
The call given for social boycott leads to serious problems in society for decades to come. It can lead to vertical divisions on the basis of several factors including religion,” he said.
Commenting on Badal government, Dr Dayal said it was a direction-less government. The state was failing on the industrial, unemployment, law and order, education and other fronts. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is not worried to resolve these problems.
On the problem of rural indebtedness, he said, “All loans of farmers should be waived”, he said. Sick industry should be revived and the Union Government should be compelled to given industrial package to Punjab on the Himachal pattern.
He said because of unavailability of potable water, cancer was spreading in certain parts of the Malwa region. Level of toxicity in drinking water was very high, he added.
He said the oil refinery project in Punjab had been revived because of Laxmi Mittal and not because of the SAD-BJP government or the Congress party.
Dr Dayal said Punjab was being ruled by the SAD-BJP and not by the people’s government. The SAD-BJP was protecting its own activists and targeting opponents. The same was done by the previous Congress government, he said.

House of dera member torched or is it just false cases against sikhs

Bhagta Bhai Ka (Bathinda), July 11The house of Dera Sacha Sauda follower Rajinder Pal was set on fire by miscreants here late last night. At the time of the incident all members of the family were sleeping on the roof.
Fear gripped dera followers here and in adjoining villages after the incident came to light this morning.
Rajinder and his brother have been putting up in the house for the past many years. They run separate shops in the town.
Members of the family raised an alarm before the fire spread. They, with the help of local residents, doused the fire after little effort. The miscreants sprinkled kerosene on the front doors of the house to set these on fire.
One of the members of the family told The Tribune that that when they noticed flames, they immediately extinguished it with the help of local residents.
She said though the police was informed about the incident immediately, policemen and officials visited their house this morning only. No security had been provided to them by the police, she added.
The front doors of the house, a bed and window had got damaged in the fire.
Dyalpura SHO Jagjit Singh said a case under Sections 436 and 427 of the IPC had been registered on a complaint of Rajinder.

JD (S) flays remarks on Sukhbir

Hoshiarpur, July 11The Janata Dal (S) has condemned the recent statement of chief of Damdami Taksal Harnam Singh asking acting president of the SAD Sukhbir Singh Badal to get himself baptised if he wanted to continue to lead the Sikh community in general and the Panthic party in particular.
Executive committee member of the Janata Dal (S) Balwant Singh Khera, in a press note issued here today, also criticised SGPC chief Avtar Singh for giving a full-page advertisement in various newspapers regarding the launch of “Singh Sajo campaign” from July 15.
“There are around 2 crore Sikhs in the world, of which only 5 per cent are Amritdhari Sikhs. Therefore, it is illogical to say that Gursikhs are lowly than Amritdhari Sikhs. Every Sikh who believes in ‘Kirat karo, nam japo and band chako’ is decent”, Khera said.

Indian State's interference in Sikh Religious matters is unwarranted

Chandigarh:Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu (Senior Vice President, Akali Dal Amritsar) held a press conference in Chandigarh. He claimed that Indian State is interfering in religious matters of Sikhs and this is unauthorized interference. He accused that State is ignoring sentiments of Sikh Nation and trying to forcibly suppressing Sikh movement in dera issue. For instance, he said, State stopped many persons and leaders from participating 9 July dharna in Mohali held by KAC. He informed SAD (A) youth leader S. Mandhir SIngh and his Jatha were stopped by Ropar Police. Similarly, Dal Khalsa Jatha was also stoped at Ropar. There are other incidents of like nature also. He said State is on its' way of closing all peaceful means of protest and this is extremely dangerous. He said if situation goes out of control the whole responsibility shall be on Central and State Government and its' agencies. Commenting on postponing Ratia convention he said firstly established Sikh Leadership takes decision without consulting Sikh Sangat and then postpone it under State Pressure. This trend is reducing the credibility of this leadership. As on 08 July S. Ram Singh of SAD (A) has announced in a press conference that SAD (A) has separated itself from Khalsa Action Committee, Bhai Bittu said that it may be thinking an individual and it is not decision of the party. He said we joined KAC after deciding for it in a Political Affairs Committee, and only PAC has the right to decide in this regard. On charges of Sedition against him and S. Simranjeet SIngh Maan and others, Bhai Daljit SIngh said that State is misusing law and legal process to trap Sikh leaders. He said role of Judiciary in this matter is also discouraging. It is worth notable that stay on arrest of Bhai Daljit Singh in a sedition case at Fatehgarh Sahib is vacated by the court of Addn. Sessions Judge on 4 July, the day when court rejected bail application. Meanwhile on 09 July the High Court has asked the Punjab Government to file reply by 02 August on bail application filed by Bhai Daljit SIngh in High Court through his council, Advo. Navkiran Singh, But the court has not stayed arrest of Bhai Bittu and police is in his search.

Haryana govt imposes restrictions on dera Sacha Sauda function

CHANDIGARH: Haryana Government has issued instructions that the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda would neither be allowed to use any public place nor loudspeakers for the purpose of their scheduled 'Nam Charcha' on July 12 at Ratia in Fatehabad district.
This was revealed by Haryana Chief Secretary, Prem Prashant while interacting with media persons here Wednesday.
Prem Prashant said that in case anyone has to do 'Nam Charcha', it might be done at one's home. He said that a decision to this effect has been taken to maintain peace in the area.
The Chief Secretary said that as the proposed Sikh rally, which was scheduled for today, had also been deferred by the Akal Takht Jathedar, the tense situation has been diffused. He appreciated that wise sense has prevailed upon both parties. As he was replying to the questions of media persons, he rang up Deputy Commissioner Fatehabad to enquire about the situation in Ratia. He was informed by the Deputy Commissioner that some people had visited the Gurdwara at Ratia, but returned after paying obeisance and situation was normal. The State Government would protect life and property of the people, he added.
In reply to another question, Prem Prashant made it clear that no instruction has been issued to prevent the people from visiting Gurudwara in Ratia. The State Government is in touch with Punjab Government and Chief Ministers of both States too have been discussing the issue with each other, he added.
On the issue of on going hunger strike by some of the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda, the Chief Secretary said that none of their demands related to Haryana, but these were for Punjab. However, the doctors of Haryana were examining medically those on hunger strike and in case of worsening of anyone's condition, they were being shifted to hospital.
When asked to comment of the power situation, he said that power had been purchased at a rate of even Rs.seven or eight per unit for short term so as to ensure its supply to consumers.
He denied having received any proposal for construction of metro rail from Chandigarh to Ambala. However, he added that efforts were being made to connect Faridabad with metro rail in first phase of the project, but it would be possible by 2012 or 2013. Gurgaon would be connected with metro rail by 2010.
When his attention was drawn towards a newsitem appearing in a section of the press concerning the issue of tenure for IAS cadre posts in the State, the Chief Secretary made it clear that every State has its schedule of tenure. The Central Government has amended All India Service Rules for determination of fixed tenure for IAS cadre posts. The State Chief Minister has recommended a minimum tenure of one year for all IAS cadre posts in the State and his views have been communicated to the Central Government. In case of transfer of an officer, the issue is looked into by the Tenure Committee headed by the Chief Secretary. he added.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab:Wednesday 11th July 2007
The happenings in Punjab displayed above, nothing has changed, we are still not free.


Khalsa Action Committee march stopped in Mohali


Chandigarh: Frsutrating the plans of the panthic bodies under the banner of Khalsa Action Committee to march to the residences of the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers, the Punjab Police prevented a march of hundreds of Sikhs protesters against Sacha Sauda dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim from entering Chandigarh.
The representatives of the Chief Ministers reached Mohali to collect the memorandums, signed by Bhai Mohkam Singh, Kanwar Pal Singh, Karnail Singh Panjoli, Gurdip Singh Bhatinda and Paramjit Singh.
The march was stopped in Mohali itself after they it from Gurudwara Amb Sahib. The marchers were to sit on a dharna in front of the official residences of the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana. The protesters then got together into an impromptu rally after seeing that they will be forcibly stopped as the Chandigarh police had put up barricades and stationed riot police at the city's border crossover points with Punjab.
The march was organised by the Khalsa Action Committee, which also includes Dal Khalsa and Damdami Taksal but the Akali Dal (Amritsar) had announced that it will keep away from the march.
Meanwhile, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti has said that the July 11 rally at Ratia in Fatehabad district of Haryana, 15 km from the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa, would be held as scheduled.
In the memorandum submitted to Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, the protesters said that "Due to laxity in dealing with such a sensitive issue, the cult leader and his so-called premis have become more offensive, and their targets are mostly the mainstream Sikhs, who are committed to Akal Takht and its edicts issued in this regard from time to time."
"The situation is similar to the one prevailing before April 1978 and June 1984...Regrettably, this day too, justice to the Sikhs seems in jeopardy in Punjab and Haryana. The laxity on part of Punjab and Haryana administrations notwithstanding, the Centre and the higher judiciary are either sleeping over such a sensitive issue or lacking a proper vision (will) to deal with the matter. Not only that, the Opposition leader in the Punjab State Assembly openly supports the cause of the criminal cult leader just for petty electoral gains. It seems that the Congress did not learn any lesson from the past.
"(T)hings have been allowed to come to a pass where the Dera head projects himself as a law unto himself. He encourages (preaches) violence through his followers, the terrorists in the garb of dera-premis. They need to be brought to book in order to curb their criminal activities and put an end to their nefarious designs and machinations to create trouble for the state, apparently at the instance of their Delhi masters. The filing of a petition before the President of India to dislodge the Punjab government claiming that it had failed to maintain law and order in the state is not without strings.
"On the other hand, Sardar Badal, your litany -- law will take its course; no one is above law and rule of law will prevail -- is nothing but a reflection of the lackadaisical approach of the state government of which you are the head."
The memo further said: "Mr Badal, in the given situation, you need to immediately neutralise your political enemies within the Panth and counter the others, especially the Congress which is at the back of this episode, by becoming proactive to act against this menace.
"The first thing you need to do is to unconditionally release and take back cases of the Sikh leaders, including Simranjit Singh Mann and Daljit Singh Bittu who have been booked due to political reasons. Sardar Mann is being kept behind bars only to stall his political activities that could be directed against the dera chief and his co-cultists. Bhai Bittu is being terrorised into silence only because he is a leading member (co-convenor) of the KAC.
"Secondly, withdraw all cases falsely registered against all those Sikhs, who have been active during Sikh agitations against the cultists in the wake of the Dera row. The foremost need is to immediately arrest all those so-called dera-premis involved in the murder of Bhai Kamaljit Singh and the murderous assault on innocent Sikhs at Bathinda. The dera head should be arrested along with his coterie of advisors (spokespersons) under 120-B of the IPC in all these incidents as they have deliberately and maliciously instigated the offenders."
"As far as the case under section 295-A of the IPC against the dera head and others is concerned, any apology whatsoever it may be, does not absolve the culprits as the case is non-compoundable. Any relief from the High Court under section 438 Cr P C is a misnomer and it should be effectively challenged forthwith.
"Despite his so-called apology, misleadingly pleaded in the HC, the dera head is repeatedly ridiculing the Sikh religion and its amrit-sanchar ceremony. More such cases should be registered against him and his associates. They should be arrested in fresh cases as law does not tolerate such blasphemous and outrageous acts in which these dera premis are unashamedly indulging."

Indian State's interference in Sikh Religious matters is unwarranted

Chandigarh:Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu (Senior Vice President, Akali Dal Amritsar) held a press conference in Chandigarh. He claimed that Indian State is interfering in religious matters of Sikhs and this is unauthorized interference. He accused that State is ignoring sentiments of Sikh Nation and trying to forcibly suppressing Sikh movement in dera issue. For instance, he said, State stopped many persons and leaders from participating 9 July dharna in Mohali held by KAC. He informed SAD (A) youth leader S. Mandhir SIngh and his Jatha were stopped by Ropar Police. Similarly, Dal Khalsa Jatha was also stoped at Ropar. There are other incidents of like nature also. He said State is on its' way of closing all peaceful means of protest and this is extremely dangerous. He said if situation goes out of control the whole responsibility shall be on Central and State Government and its' agencies. Commenting on postponing Ratia convention he said firstly established Sikh Leadership takes decision without consulting Sikh Sangat and then postpone it under State Pressure. This trend is reducing the credibility of this leadership. As on 08 July S. Ram Singh of SAD (A) has announced in a press conference that SAD (A) has separated itself from Khalsa Action Committee, Bhai Bittu said that it may be thinking an individual and it is not decision of the party. He said we joined KAC after deciding for it in a Political Affairs Committee, and only PAC has the right to decide in this regard. On charges of Sedition against him and S. Simranjeet SIngh Maan and others, Bhai Daljit SIngh said that State is misusing law and legal process to trap Sikh leaders. He said role of Judiciary in this matter is also discouraging. It is worth notable that stay on arrest of Bhai Daljit Singh in a sedition case at Fatehgarh Sahib is vacated by the court of Addn. Sessions Judge on 4 July, the day when court rejected bail application. Meanwhile on 09 July the High Court has asked the Punjab Government to file reply by 02 August on bail application filed by Bhai Daljit SIngh in High Court through his council, Advo. Navkiran Singh, But the court has not stayed arrest of Bhai Bittu and police is in his search.

Conclave PM’s intervention did it

Amritsar, The timely intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh helped in defusing the Sikh-Dera Sacha Sauda impasse. He had conveyed his concern over the impending confrontation to Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary-general, SAD, and Tarlochan Singh, a Rajya Sabha Member from Haryana , during their meeting in New Delhi yesterday.
Both Dhindsa and Tarlochan Singh conveyed the anxiety of the Prime Minister to Parkash Singh Badal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana. The Prime Minister had reportedly told the Sikh leaders that the clashes had been bringing a bad name to the community and some way be found to get the Sikh conclave postponed.
Tarlochan Singh then motivated the members of Haryana SGPC to send their representation to the Jathedar, Akal Takht, to help in defusing the impending confrontation. He also spoke to Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti on this issue. The SGPC chief, Avtar Singh, also prevailed upon Jathedar Vedanti to withdraw the call.
Talking to The Tribune, Tarlochan Singh said the Prime Minister also talked to the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers to seek their cooperation in defusing the situation.
The SGPC members from Haryana, belonging to both groups, had also faxed their representation to the Jathedar, Akal Takht, in which they apprehended that the conclave might result in violence. The union home minister had also sought the cooperation of SGPC chief during their meeting in New Delhi.
The move to get the conclave postponed was kept secret which was clear from the fact that Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, expressed surprise over the development.
On learning that Jathedar Nandgarh was annoyed with the postponement, the entire top leadership of SAD and SGPC used their good offices to stop him from taking the extreme step of sticking to the “gurmatta”.

Khalsa panel struggle being crushed: Bittu

Chandigarh, Senior vice-president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Daljit Singh Bittu here today said the peaceful struggle waged by the Khalsa Action Committee against Dera Sacha Sauda was being “suppressed” by the Punjab and union governments.
He said the committee was committed to getting the decisions announced by Akal Takht against the dera chief implemented. The social boycott of the dera would continue. But all this would be done peacefully, he added.

24 Sikh protesters, six cops hurt in clash

More than 24 Sikh protesters and several policemen were injured during a clash in front of the Dera Sacha Sauda branch situated on the Hussainiwala road here this morning.Hundreds of Sikh protesters reached the dera early morning to prevent dera followers from holding "Naamcharcha”.ADC Rahul Tiwari and SDM D.P.S. Kharbanda, who had reached the spot early morning, said the district administration had already prevailed upon dera followers not to organise “Naamcharcha”.The SDM said the administration told the leaders accompanying the protesters that since "Naamcharcha" was not being held, they should return peacefully.Instead of returning, the protesters, which included workers from various Sikh bodies, broke the police barrier and rushed towards the dera.They demanded that the symbol of "Ek Onkar" placed at the entrance of the dera should be removed as the dera was not supposed to use that symbol. The civil authorities told the protesters that since Akal Takht had not issued any directives on use of "Ek Onkar", they should not insist on removing it so that the atmosphere did not get vitiated.The protesters started pelting stones and attacked the police with swords and other sharp-edged weapons. Six policemen - head constable Sudesh Pal, Nirbhai Singh, Angrej Singh, Subhash Chander, Darshan Dayal and Jagir Singh - were injured in the incident. Two photojournalists also sustained injuries.The police used water canons and teargas shells and later resorted to lathicharge to disperse the crowd.Paramjit Singh Kalsi, president, Sikh Student Federation, termed the police action as unwarranted. He denied that the protesters had turned violent and blamed the district administration for the melee.The police has registered a case against prominent Sikh leaders who led the protest. According to information, the police has registered a case under Sections 307, 324, 353, 186, 332 and 188,, IPC, against Harpal Singh Bhullar, Paramjit Singh Kalsi, Jaspal Singh, Udik Singh Kunde, Dilbagh Singh, Lakhwinder Singh Ladda, Balwinder Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Rajinder Singh, Harjinder Singh and Gurvinder Singh along with a few unidentified persons for defying magisterial orders, instigating the crowd and causing injuries to policemen.When contacted, Harpal Singh Bhullar, while condemning the police action, stated that instead of registering a case against the dera followers, the police has falsely implicated them for no fault of theirs. Bhullar said that he, along with other leaders, tried their level best to pacify the crowd but some persons from other towns had turned violent.

Only baptised Sikh should lead SAD

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa of Damdami Taksal, who is also a member of the Sant Samaj, yesterday observed that only a baptised Sikh should lead the SAD as only such a person could become a role model and stem the tide against the increasing apostasy among the community.To the utter dismay of party acting chief Sukhbir Badal and his supporters, he suggested that Sukhbir get baptised immediately if he wanted to continue to lead the Sikh community in general and the Panthic party in particular.
Visibly stung by the statement, senior leaders could be seen smarting under the comment which was greatly appreciated by the audience.He was addressing a gathering at Gurdwara Ram Sar at Kaind village, near here, on the occasion of the fourth death anniversary of Sant Mohinder Singh.Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, who is also president of the Gurmat Sidhant Parchar Committee, alleged that it was the apathy of Sikh leaders in propagating Sikhism in the northern states, including Punjab, which was responsible for the mushrooming of deras and anti-Sikh forces.Later, during a meeting chaired by Badal, various constituents of the Sant Samaj accused the state police of shielding Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim who, according to them, should have been arrested by now."The police not only helped him by delaying the process for his arrest, it also did not seize his passport also," alleged Baba Harnam Singh maintaining that the court had directed the police to take the travel document in its possession.After giving a patient hearing to the office-bearers of the Sant Samaj, Sukhbir Badal said, "Within two days, you will find that necessary action on the part of the state government has been taken." The administration was supposed to act according to the orders of the court, he added.

Haryana CM offers to coordinate with Punjab on dera Sacha Sauda issue

CHANDIGARH: Focussing on dera Sacha Sauda controversy, the Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh hooda Monday in a significant statement said that his government is committed to maintain peace and harmony in the entire region. He said his government would work in coordination with Punjab government to maintain peace.
He said that action would be taken as per law and law and order would be maintained at all cost and no body would be allowed to vitiate peace full atmosphere of the state.
The statement of Hooda came minutes after the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti in Amritsar announced to postpone the Ratia Sikh conclave of July 11. It is understood that some understanding has been reached behind the scene between Haryana and Punjab governments to deal effectively with dera Sacha Sauda issue.
An official spokesman of Haryana government said late at night on Monday that the Ludhiana based Khalsa action committee today presented a memorandum to Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for securing justice to ensure rule of law and peace in haryana and punjab in the wake of dera sacha sauda's, alleged criminial activities against sikh faith and sikh community. They also stressed to take stringent legal measures against dera head and other cultists. The memorandum signed by Bhai Jasbir Dingh Khalsa and Harinder Singh Khalsa of Khalsa Action ommittee was received by OSD to haryana CM, M.S.Chopra on behalf of the CM at Chandigarh-Mohali border today.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab: Tuesday 10th July 2007

Dera row: Ratia Sikh conclave postponed Decision divides Sikh clergy

Amritsar, Jathedar Akal Takht Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti has postponed the Sikh conclave, scheduled for July 11 at Ratia in Haryana following tremendous pressure from various quarters. This was stated in a press note, issued on the letter head of Akal Takht this evening here.
However, the decision left the Sikh clergy divided even as Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar Takht Damdama Sahib expressed surprise over the issuance of the press note. The Sikh high priests yesterday announced that “come what may” the Sikh conclave would be held as per schedule.
However, with the volte-face, the Sikh masses in general and SGPC members from Haryana and Tarlochan Singh, a Rajya Sabha member from Haryana, have expressed happiness over the decision of the Jathedar Akal Takht.
The decision to postpone the Sikh conclave had been taken in the larger interest of the Sikh community. Jathedar Vedanti said the decision to postpone the Panthic conclave had been taken in the wake of the developments which were not in the interest of the Sikh community.
Sirsa: Dera Sacha Sauda has decided to postpone its scheduled discourse programme to be held at Ratia in Fatehabad district on July 11 after holding a meeting with the peace committee and officials this evening. The dera will now organise the discourse on July 12.

Khalsa march fizzles out

Mohali, The Khalsa march led by Khalsa Action Committee members fizzled out here this afternoon when the Mohali police stopped them outside Gurdwara Amb Sahib. Terming the move as death of democracy in the state, committee members announced that the Akali government had violated the orders of Akal Takht in stopping them from carrying out the Takht’s instructions.
The committee had asked Sikhs to gather at the gurdwara this morning and march to the residence of the Chief Ministers, Punjab and Haryana, to protest against the lackadaisical attitude of the two governments in taking action against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief.
Donning black overalls, the committee members, leading a group of about 200 persons, walked out of the gurdwara but were stopped there by the police. Chanting “waheguru, waheguru”, the group remained peaceful. Rejecting the offer of the Chandigarh police to take a contingent of representatives to the houses of the two Chief Ministers to hand over their charter of demands, the protesters sat down on the road amid heavy police presence.
Addressing the group, Karnail Singh Panjoli said the state government should not have interfered like this. “We were given assurances by Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal that we would not be stopped. Even the DGP talked to us this morning and told us that we would be allowed to go up to the border of Chandigarh,” he said. Ravinder Singh of Shiromani Akali Dal (1920) alleged that the Punjab government was in unison with the dera chief.
Later, it was decided that the officers on special duty to the two Chief Ministers be called to the spot to accept the memorandum. N.S. Sangha. OSD to Punjab Chief Minister, and M.S. Chopra, OSD to Chief Minister, Haryana, accompanied by Ram Kishan, chief parliamentary secretary, Haryana, accepted the memorandum. In it the committee members have pointed out that due to the laxity in dealing with the dera issue the “cult leader and his so called ‘premis’ have become more offensive and their targets are mostly the mainstream Sikhs.”
The members demanded the release of Simranjit Singh Mann and withdrawal of cases against Daljit Singh Bittu and all those Sikhs who were active during Sikh agitations against the cultists. “This is the last time we are handing over memorandums to the government. After this we will only stage protests,” said Panjoli.
The committee members alleged that the police stopped a large number of their supporters all across the state.
Meanwhile, SSP, Mohali, R.S. Khatra said Section 144 of the CrPC had been promulgated in the district and a special permission was required for the march, which the protestors did not bother to procure. “We had no option but to stop them from collecting and moving forward,” he said.


Suicide bid Dera follower dead
Kiosk burnt

Sangrur, The tea stall of a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda, Om Parkash, was burnt by unidentified persons near the old truck union office here last night. A complaint in this regard had been lodged with the police by the dera followers.
Bathinda, July 9Shyam Sunder Bansal, a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda, who attempted self-immolation in this town last evening, died at Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi tonight. Shyam Sunder Bansal had suffered more than 70 per cent burns.
A criminal case had been registered against Sham Sunder Bansal for attempting self-immolation in Paras Ram Nagar area of this town late last evening.
Nau Nihal Singh, SSP, said a case under Section 309 of the IPC was registered against Sham Sunder.
Sham Sunder made the attempt after a function organised in connection with bringing a large section of dera followers back into the fold of Sikhism at Gurdwara Tungwali got over. It was organised by a local Akali worker.
He was first taken to the local civil hospital. He was later shifted to a Delhi-based hospital.
Harwinder Sharma, one of the eyewitnesses, said he was standing along with four persons when they saw Sham Sunder in flames. He pointed out that Sham Sunder was crying for help. He added that they managed to douse the flames and arranged the vehicle to take him to the hospital.
However, the SSP said so far he has not received any complaint in this connection.
Sham Sunder in his statement to the police had said that he took the extreme step as he could not tolerate the harassment being done to the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda by members of a Sikh organisation. He also recorded that he could not tolerate what was being done to the followers by a section of society.
Interestingly, the police officials, who accompanied the patient, took plain papers from the police post, Pathrala, to record the statement.

‘Amrit sanchar’ drive from July 15

Amritsar, To counter the dera culture and social evils and give direction to the youth of the state, the SGPC has decided to launch an “amrit sanchar” drive in different parts of the state from July 15.
SGPC president Avtar Singh here today released the schedule of various programmes to be held as part of the drive. He said the “dharam prachar” drive had also been launched under the supervision of SGPC members in their areas.

SGPC delegation meets Patil

Amritsar, A four-member delegation of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), led by its president Avtar Singh Makkar, met union home minister Shivraj Patil today for immediately stopping the unfortunate activities of the Dera Sacha Sauda and speeding up the probe in the serious charges of rape and murder against the dera chief.
The delegation included senior vice-president Dalmegh Singh Secretary and Iqbal Singh Media advisor of the SGPC.
Makkar urged the home minister to speed up the action against the dera chief so that the peaceful environment of Punjab was not disturbed.

Seeking bail, SAD (A) leader says case against him false

Chandigarh, Senior vice-president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Daljit Singh, alias Bittu, today claimed he was booked on false allegations of raising seditious slogans during a peaceful march as the ruling party solely wanted to gain political mileage out of the Dera Sacha Sauda issue.
In his application filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court for pre-arrest bail, Bittu claimed that the ruling SAD did not appreciate the participation of other groups in peaceful marches organised by the Sikh community. In an attempt to prevent his party from coming into the limelight by taking part in one such march, a false case was planted on him, he added.
Going into the background of the matter, he said a first information report was registered on May 31 under Sections 124-A, 153-A, 341 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code at Fatehgarh Sahib police station. The main allegations against him were that he had raised slogans which fell under the definition of seditious uttering during a march the same day. Taking up the petition, Mr Justice L.N. Mittal of the high court today issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab. The case will now come up on August 3 for further hearing.

Sikh Protesters Stoped From Entring in Chandigarh by Punjab Police

Frsutrating the plans of the panthic bodies under the banner of Khalsa Action Committee to march to the residences of the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers, the Punjab Police prevented a march of hundreds of Sikhs protesters against Sacha Sauda dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim from entering Chandigarh. The representatives of the Chief Ministers reached Mohali to collect the memorandums, signed by Bhai Mohkam Singh, Kanwar Pal Singh, Karnail Singh Panjoli, Gurdip Singh Bhatinda and Paramjit Singh Gazi. Two representatives, Udham Singh and Jaswant SIngh (Haryana) were selected from sangat to hand-over memorandum, as no prominent personailty came to receive it.The march was stopped in Mohali itself after they it from Gurudwara Amb Sahib. The marchers were to sit on a dharna in front of the official residences of the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana. The protesters then got together into an impromptu rally after seeing that they will be forcibly stopped as the Chandigarh police had put up barricades and stationed riot police at the city's border crossover points with Punjab.

Police Lathicharged Sikhs in Firozpur

Tension prevailed in Firozpore over function of dera sauda sirsa (DSS). Members of various SIkh organizations gathered to stop the function of dera. Police personal was deployed in large number. As the situation was very tense souda function was stoped. After that Sikh Bodies were demaning removal of boards of dera which was carring Sikh Symbols. Here they come in conflict with police. Police used tear gas and fired rubber bulits on Sikhs. In this lathicahrge some Sikhs are injurred. Sources says Police have registered cases against the organisation leaders including Harpal Singh Bhullar, Paramjit Singh Kalsi, Jaspal Singh, Udik Singh Kunde, Dilbagh Singh, Lakhwinder Singh Ladda, Balwinder Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Rajinder Singh, Harjinder Singh and Gurvinder Singh besides some unidentified persons. The charges include defying magisterial orders, instigating the crowd and causing injuries to policemen.

Akal Takht postpones Ratia rally after pressure mounted on Badal govt

Chandigarh: As concerns over maintaining peace grew in view of the proposed Sikh Sammelan at Ratia in Haryana, the top Sikh clergy led by Akal Takht jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti on Monday evening announced postponement of the rally citing their desire to maintain peace.
The decision, announced by the Akal Takht secretariat around 7 pm Monday evening India time, is likely to be viewed as backtracking by many panthic bodies, particularly because it comes after a pattern of moves by the clergy which involved two steps forward, one step backward strategy repeatedly.
The call for the rally was given by the Akal Takht a fortnight ago when the clergy had met specially to consider the apology of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief on June 27. The clerics hadd rejected the apology and had issued a separate Gurmata for the Ratia rally.
After consistently maintaining that the Akal Takht orders can never be altered or taken back, the postponement of the rally is likely to lead to serious issues within the Sikh community. The Punjab Government was under considerable pressure from the Haryana government on the question of the rally.
Particularly, the postponement comes after expressions of concern and reports that it was giving anxious moments to the Haryana government and Haryana police as thousands of Sikhs were expected to participate in it at a venue which is barely 15 km away from the Dera Sacha Sauda sect headquarters in Sirsa.
Moreover, the sect management had also called for a big prayer meeting of its followers at its headquarters on the same day - which has now been postponed by a day.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda as well as senior civil and police officials from both states had met last week to discuss the issue. The Haryana government was apprehensive that the rally could lead to violence.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the dera head, is accused in a murder case under investigation by the CBI and the Sikhs are enraged that he imitated the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikhs' Amrit Sanchar ceremony and uses lexicon typical of the Sikhs.

Punjab police thwarts KAC attempt for dharna at CM's residence

CHANDIGARH: Punjab police on Monday thwarted an attempt by the members of Khalsa Action Committee(KAC) formed by radical Sikh organisations to counter dera Sacha Sauda from holding a dharna in front of residences of Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers here.
The KAC members and their supporters had announced to hold dharna to press for the arrest of dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh who is booked by Punjab police in a case of blasphemy. Yet, Akal Takht has also convened a Sikh conclave in Ratia in Haryana on July 11 on same issue.
About 500 activists of various Sikh organistions led by KAC convener Bhai Mohkam Singh of Damdami Taksal assembled at Gurdawara Amb Sahib in Mohali and started marching towards Chandigarh. They however were stopped by strong police contingent from moving forward. The KAC started dharna at Mohali and asked the police authorities to ask Punjab and Haryana Chief Minister to come there to accept the memorandum.
The both government's had sent their respective OSD's to collect the memorandum. Kanwarpal Singh Bittu secretary general of Dal Khalsa said that it was unfortunate that state governments had sent bureaucrats to collect memorandum whereas either CM's themselves or any senior minister should have come.
He said that they were told that Chandigarh administration had imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 in city. He wondered that then Chandigarh police should have stopped them at the city border but why Punjab police has stopped them from holding march.

Dera issue: KAC blames Punjab, Haryana govt for laxity

CHANDIGARH: The Khalsa Action Committee on Monday in separate memorendum submitted to Punjab and Haryana governments has demanded immediate arrest of dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh to save the law and order situation.
The memorandum submitted to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said, " Due to laxity in dealing with such a sensitive issue, the cult leader and his so-called premis have become more offensive, and their targets are mostly the mainstream Sikhs, who are committed to Akal Takht and its edicts issued in this regard from time to time. No Sikh worth his salt, will continue to tolerate the illegal activities of the Dera head who had attired himself like Guru Gobind Singh and tried to negate (or equate) the Amrit of the Guru. The worldwide reaction of the Sikhs to the blasphemous activity of the dera is a testimony to this".
It further said that regrettably justice to the Sikhs seems in jeopardy in Punjab and Haryana. The laxity on part of Punjab and Haryana administrations notwithstanding, the Centre and the higher judiciary are either sleeping over such a sensitive issue or lacking a proper vision (will) to deal with the matter. Not only that, the Opposition leader in the Punjab State Assembly openly supports the cause of the criminal cult leader just for petty electoral gains. It seems that the Congress did not learn any lesson from the past.
The KAC has quoted that Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Master has proclaimed it earlier at Dina Kangar, in his Zafarnama, that: 'When all other means of resistance against tyranny and oppression fail, it is legitimate, as a last resort, to turn to the sword.'
Addressing Badal, the memo said that in the given situation, you need to immediately neutralise your political enemies within the Panth and counter the others, especially the Congress which is at the back of this episode, by becoming proactive to act against this menace.
The KAC stated that the dera head should be arrested along with his coterie of advisors (spokespersons) under 120-B of the IPC in all these incidents as they have deliberately and maliciously instigated the offenders.
As far as the case under section 295-A of the IPC against the dera head and others is concerned, any apology whatsoever it may be, does not absolve the culprits as the case is non-compoundable. Any relief from the High Court under section 438 Cr P C is a misnomer and it should be effectively challenged forthwith, it added.
In the memorendum submitted to Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the KAC said that due to laxity in dealing with such a sensitive issue, the cult leader and his so-called premis have become more offensive, and their targets are mostly the mainstream Sikhs, who are committed to Akal Takht and its edicts issued in this regard from time to time. No Sikh worth his salt, will continue to tolerate the illegal activities of the Dera head who had attired himself like Guru Gobind Singh and tried to negate (or equate) the Amrit of the Guru. The worldwide reaction of the Sikhs to the blasphemous activity of the dera is a testimony to this.
It said that the response of the Haryana Congress to the Sikh nation is not encouraging either. We are afraid it may not go the Bhajan Lal way in your state. Sikhs have not forgotten the Haryana government’s role vis-à-vis the Sikhs during the Asian games in 1982. We, for sure, know that no responsible head of a state government would allow the situation to deteriorate and ultimately face the music himself.
The KAC said that no one among them has any explanation as to why your government had failed to bring to book the cult head in rape and murder cases, why the Indian premier investigation agency, the CBI, has become a baby cat before the dera head, thus rendering the Hon’ble HC ineffective, and why your government is dragging it's feet from the matter.
The KAC has demanded to register case against dera head in Haryana on the pattern of Punjab and lend full support and cooperation to the Punjab government to bell the "wolf- the sinner" and put him behind the bars.
The foremost thing needs to be done by your government is to ban and seal the Dera premises or deras wherein these illegal and immoral activities are carried out, almost daily, the KAC told Haryana CM.

Dera trouble sparks in Majha too

Dera controversy has hit Majha region too. A violent clash was today averted in Gaggo-Bua village in neighbouring Tarn Taran district, following which the police made elaborate security arrangements.
According to the eyewitnesses, the trouble started when a group of Sikhs, representing Damdami Taksal and local Satkar Committee, allegedly went to the house of Harjit Singh, a Dera Sacha Sauda follower, after they received information that he had hung the photograph of dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh above that of Guru Gobind Singh.
Harjit, a retired Punjab Police employee, first resisted the move, but on seeing the pressure rising, agreed to remove the portrait of the dera head. The senior residents of the village intervened and the matter was resolved. Meanwhile, Harjit and Sikhs have filed separate complaints with the police and the situation was being said to be tense, but under control.
Tarn Taran DSP (City) Ranbir Singh said the police had received the complaint from Harjit against a group of Sikhs, who forcibly entered his house and threatened him with dire consequences.
He also confirmed that Sikhs leaders too have filed a cross complaint against Harjit Singh for hurting religious sentiments of the community. In the complaint, the Damdami Taksal alleged that they feared that Harjit would hold dera’s religious function in the area shortly.