Akal Takht continue Dera boycott
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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 29, 2007
Akal Takht to continue Dera boycott
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Akal Takht to continue Dera boycott

Akal Takht, the top religious body of Sikhs, today decided to continue boycotting Dera Sacha Sauda, even as the latter has tendered an apology for sacrilege by its leader Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh.

Amritsar, May 29 : Akal Takht, the top religious body of Sikhs, today decided to continue boycotting Dera Sacha Sauda, even as the latter has tendered an apology for 'sacrilege' by its leader Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh.

At a meeting here today at its Secretariat within the Golden Temple Complex, which was attended by the five high priests of the Sikhs among others, the Akal Takht also urged Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to pursue legal cases against the Dera chief.

The meeting decided to announce its decision in this regard on Wednesday.

The five high priests are from the five Takhts of Akal Takht (Amritsar), Keshgarh Sahab (Anandpur Sahab), Patna Sahab (Patna) and Damdama Sahab (Talwandi Sabo).

They were represented by their Jathedars Joginder Singh Vedanti, Giani Tarlochan Singh, Iqbal Singh and Balwant Singh Nandgarh. The fifth Takht of Hazoor Sahab (Nanded, Maharashtra) is being represented by head priest Partap Singh.

A delegation of all religions, including father Damnia Manuel, Abhishek Jain and Mullana Jamir Ahmed Ilyasi representing Christians, Jains and Muslim religions respectively, led by Swami Agnivesh was also present at the meeting.

The Dera sect on Sunday tendered an apology to defuse the situation, saying, "In the best interest of peace and tranquillity, the Dera Sacha Sauda tenders an apology to Guru Gobind Singh."

The apology came on the day the deadline given by Sikh clergy to the Dera sect to vacate its camps across Punjab ended.

Several Sikh organisations, however, have expressed dissatisfaction, pointing the apology should have been directed to the clergy and not to 17th century Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

However, the Dera apology has been welcomed across Punjab, especially the business community that incurred losses during a fortnight of shutdowns and riots.

There had been sectarian clashes and tension in the State since May 14 after the publication of advertisement of the Dera chief dressed as Guru Gobind Singh.

The Sikhs took offensive of it, terming it as "sacrilege". Skirmishes between rival groups flared into mob violence when the Akal Takht, the highest Sikh religious body, urged followers to boycott the sect.

Dera Sacha Sauda, which has thousands of followers, says it is a social organisation that believes in the oneness of god and does not adhere to a particular faith, though its leader wears a turban and has a long beard in the Sikh style.


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