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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab: Tuesday 17th July 2007


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.


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

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