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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 27, 2007
Devotees pray at Golden Temple for peaceful resolution of Sikh-Dera row
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Dera Sacha Sauda

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Devotees pray at Golden Temple for peaceful resolution of Sikh-Dera row

As the deadline set by the Akal Takht for the closure of Dera Sacha Sauda camps ends today, people in Punjab prayed for peace and normalcy at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Salabatpur/Amritsar, May 27 : As the deadline set by the Akal Takht for the closure of Dera Sacha Sauda camps ends today, people in Punjab prayed for peace and normalcy at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The devotees, who came to pray at the Sikh's holiest shrine, said they wanted a peaceful resolution of the prevailing tension over an alleged "blasphemy" of Guru Gobind Singh.

"These things can be solved following the teachings of the Sikh gurus. They should sit and talk to find a solution to these problems. The solution doesn't lie in fighting each other; it rather creates problem for the innocent," said Bhagat Singh.

"I appeal to the young generation not to break the law by getting emotionally swayed. Solve the Dera problem with peace, religious leaders are trying to resolve it. People were suspecting riots on 27th, we pray to god that it doesn't happen and it ends peacefully," said Malkiat Singh.

Dera followers said they also wanted this issue to get resolved through talks, adding that they had no plans of taking any action in this regard.

"We are not taking any action. Our mission is peace. We want to serve the people of our country without taking law into our hands. We have never broken any law, neither have we given such message to anyone nor do we want to create any tension," Gurubachan Singh, member, Dera Advisory Committee.

The sect leader, Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh, had apologised, but the Sikh religious leaders stuck to their ultimatum.

While hectic efforts were on to work out a compromise, the state government put its forces on alert.

Riot police were deployed in strength around camps of the sect. Policemen and paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) men have been deployed at Salabatpur, one of the biggest sect camps in the state.

Meanwhile, thousands of Sauda followers, who have congregated at Salabatpur, said there were no fears among them.

"There is no panic. There is full security arrangement here. A large number of Dera Sacha followers have gathered inside. In case the police security cover does not suffice, we are prepared to face any eventuality by ourselves," said Mukhtaiar Singh, one of the few Sauda followers who emerged out of the camp.

Yesterday, social activist Swami Agnivesh, who had unsuccessfully tried to broker peace between the two sects, again appealed to the Sikhs for an extension of the deadline.

He said despite the fact that there has been no formal apology so far from Dera Sacha Sauda, he would request the Akal Takht for some more time, perhaps till May 31.

Agnivesh, along with a group of religious leaders, met Sauda leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh at Sauda headquarters in Sirsa, Haryana, on May 22 to get him to tender an apology that would satisfy the Akal Takht.

Clashes erupted between Sikhs and Dera Sacha Sauda sect on May 14, a day after an advertisement appeared showing their leader dressed up as Guru Gobind Singh.

Skirmishes between rival groups flared into mob violence when the Sikh religion's highest spiritual body, the Akal Takht, urged Sikhs to boycott the sect.

ANI

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