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Akal Takht Rejects SECOND Apology !

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Akal Takht rejects Dera chief's apology

NDTV Correspondent

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 (Amritsar)

The Akal Takth, Sikhism's highest religious body, has rejected the Dera Sacha Sauda's second apology.

''There are some serious charges against the Dera Chief which are not acceptable. We appeal to the people of Haryana to put some force on the government so that some action is taken against the Dera Chief,'' said Joginder Singh Vedanti, Head Priest, Akal Takht.

Earlier the SGPC, the body that manages all Sikh Gurudwaras, had rejected the fresh letter of apology sent by the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim.

The SGPC rejected the apology saying that they need to apologize sincerely.

The Dera chief had expressed regret for newspaper advertisements which showed him dressed up like the Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

The move had resulted in tension and protests across Punjab and neighbouring states last month.
Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Dera back on the boil, Badal says OK to chief’s arrest

Express news service

Posted online: Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 0000 hrs IST
Chandigarh, June 27
Barely weeks after it had simmered down following an across-the-board political intervention, the Dera Sacha Sauda controversy is back on the boil. Late tonight, the Punjab government gave its sanction to the Bathinda police to arrest Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for allegedly hurting Sikh sentiments.

Sources said the decision was taken at the level of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

On June 20, the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate A L Khichy had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against the Dera chief with a rider that in view of the law and order implications of such a move, the prosecution should take permission from the Punjab government before the execution of warrants. The cutoff date for this was fixed as July 1.

Punjab Advocate General H S Matthelwal said the decision was taken because the Dera chief was “not co-operating” in the investigations. He said he hoped the Haryana government — Dera chief is based in Sirsa, Haryana — would cooperate in the arrest and prosecution.

The government’s decision comes hours after the Akal Takht refused to accept a fresh apology by the Dera chief for allegedly denigrating Guru Gobind Singh. There were widespread protests across the state last month after the Dera chief featured in newspaper advertisements dressed like the Guru.

The Sikh priests today declared that the “re-worded apology tendered by Dera in a trivial form is unacceptable” and suggested a peaceful struggle against the Dera and deferred any action against the sect.

This is the second time the Akal Takht has turned down the Dera’s apology.

“A press note has been received which does not mention why the heinous act of blasphemy was committed. It’s not clear that the act won’t be repeated in the future. We may call another meeting of the Sikh high priests to discuss the matter,” said Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti today. The priests said the edict regarding closure of Dera branches, boycott of its followers and arrest of the sect’s head, would remain in force.
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