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.