Sikhs endorse Akal
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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 30, 2007
Sikhs endorse Akal Takts decision to reject Dera apology
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Sikhs endorse Akal Takts decision to reject Dera apology

People belonging to the Sikh community today endorsed the decision of Akal Takt to reject the apology by Dera Sacha Sauda sect for alleged sacrilege of Guru Gobind Singh, and continued to boycott them.

Amritsar, May 30 : People belonging to the Sikh community today endorsed the decision of Akal Takt to reject the apology by Dera Sacha Sauda sect for alleged "sacrilege" of Guru Gobind Singh, and continued to boycott them.

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

Members of the Sikh community welcomed the decision, saying the Dear chief should come out openly and apologise.

"Our protest will continue, but peacefully. This is the right decision. He (Dera chief) should realise that he has to come out openly and apologise in the right manner to end the standoff," said Gurmeet Singh Nita, a local.

The community welcomed efforts to maintain peace in the state, while protesting the objectionable action of the sect chief.

"Their approach till now has been very soft to maintain peace in Punjab. In the past, Punjab has seen a lot of violence. We do not want it to be repeated. Local people felt a great relief that this issue is being sorted out peacefully," said Surinder Singh, another local.

Akal Takht has urged the Sikhs to continue social boycott of Dera Sacha Sauda followers and asked the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC)-- Sikh body managing its shrines -- to pursue legal cases against the Dera chief.

The decision was take at a meeting yesterday at its Secretariat within the Golden Temple Complex, which was attended by the five high priests of the Sikhs among others.

The meeting decided to announce its decision in this regard today.

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.

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.

ANI

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