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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 25, 2007
Supreme Court refuses to intervene in Dera Sacha Sauda-Sikhs stand off
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Supreme Court refuses to intervene in Dera Sacha Sauda-Sikhs stand off

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to intervene in the stand off between the Dera Sacha Sauda sect and Sikh organisations and asked them to resolve differences politically.

New Delhi, May 25 : The Supreme Court on Friday refused to intervene in the stand off between the Dera Sacha Sauda sect and Sikh organisations and asked them to resolve differences politically.

The Dera sect, in a petition filed before the apex court, sought protection for all the Deras (camps) across the country against an alleged edict given by the Akal Takht, the top Sikh body, to stop their activities by May 27.

Dera's Vice-Chairman and trustee, Abhijit Bhagat, in his petition also asked the Supreme Court to restrain Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) from making statements against it.

The court said that the matter was for the Punjab Government to handle and the court would not like to intervene at this juncture.

The apex Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and D K Jain posted the matter for further hearing on June 4.

The court will also take up another petition filed on a similar issue then. A Public Interest Litigation seeks protection to the lives and properties of both the Sikhs and Dera sect followers.

On May 20, the Akal Takht served an ultimatum to the Punjab Government to close down all the Dera camps in the State by May 27.

On Thursday, Badal held an emergency meeting of his party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLAs and MPs on the differences with the Dera Sacha Sauda.

Badal has assured the Dera sect of full protection.

After the meeting, Badal said that nobody will be allowed to harm the Deras and peace will be maintained at all cost in the State.

A sectarian row was sparked off last week after the publication of an advertisement in which Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh was shown in a dress similar to that of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs.

The Sikh body has since been demanding that the Dera shut all of its camps in Punjab.

Gurmeet Singh has expressed regret, but Sikh leaders are not satisfied and want a public apology, which he has refused to give so far.

Skirmishes between rival groups flared into mob violence last week when the Akal Takht urged Sikhs to boycott the Dera Sacha Sauda sect.

One person was killed and over 50 were injured in sectarian clashes in different cities, mainly in Punjab, Haryana and Jammu.

ANI

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