Punjab Government withdraws
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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 19, 2007
Punjab Government withdraws Dera chiefs security
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Punjab Government withdraws Dera chiefs security

The security provided to Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Guremeet Ram Rahim Singh has been withdrawn by the Punjab Government.

Chandigarh, May 19 : The security provided to Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Guremeet Ram Rahim Singh has been withdrawn by the Punjab Government.

The followers of Guremeet Ram Rahim Singh and Sikhs clashed across Punjab on May 14 after newspapers carried an advertisement showing Dera head dressed up as Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru.

Punjab Police DGP N P S Aulakh told reporters that the four Personal Security Officials provided by the previous Amarinder Singh led Congress-Government to the Dera head has been withdrawn.

Justifying the withdrawal of security, Punjab Chief Minister's Media Advisor Harcharan Singh Bains, who was accompanying the DGP, said Haryana police had given enough security to the Dera head.

The Punjab Government also replaced Bhatinda SSP Naresh Arora with Naunihal Singh.

Arora's slow reaction during the sectarian strife was cited as the primary cause for his transfer. He has been appointed Assistant IG, Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, a court here today recorded the statement of advocate Inderjeet Singh Bhatia who complained about the disrespect allegedly shown by Dera head towards Guru Gobind Singh.

In a private complaint Bhatia said that the Dera head had violated the Prevention of Misuse of Religious Institutions Act of 1988 and various sections of the IPC.

The court will take up the matter for further hearing on May 25.

Punjab continued to remain tense on Saturday following several days of clashes between Sikh organisations and Dera followers.

In Jalandhar, life came to a virtual standstill following a shutdown call given by several Hindu and Sikh religious organisations.

Businesses and shops remained closed as activists of the ruling Akali Dal party and its youth wing marched through streets brandishing swords and shouting slogans.

On the other hand, thousands of Dera followers took out a protest rally against Sikhs and the State Government across the State.

Dera supporters agitated over violent protests by the Sikhs alleging Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of blasphemy, converged at Sirsa and shouted slogans against Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, accusing him of turning a blind eye to violence.

"No one dare say anything about our leader. All has been given to us by our leader. What has Badal done for us? We will not tolerate anything against our leader," said Simran, an enraged Dera follower.

Dera spokesperson Aditya Ransa said they would continue with social service.

"We have all decided that we will donate organs like kidneys and liver for the betterment of others. It will save lives of those who are needy," he told reporters.

In New Delhi, Racchpal Singh, President of a faction of Shiromani Akali Dal denounced Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

"He (Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh) did all this. Whether it was done knowingly, unknowingly or to spread violence, we don't want to get into this," he said.

Meanwhile, Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh in a message made an attempt to defuse the tension.

"I had no intention of imitating or being disrespectful to Guru Gobind Singh. I had absolutely no intention of equating myself with Guru Gobind Singh. This misunderstanding that is causing a lot of needles harm and it should be cleared," he said.

ANI

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