India Hurting Sikh Sentiments: Dera Sirsa Chief Exempted From Personal Appearance Before Court


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Hurting Sikh sentiments: Dera Sirsa chief exempted from personal appearance before court

BATHINDA: Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been exempted from personal appearance in a case filed against him for hurting Sikh sentiments by dressing up like Guru Gobind Singh ji.

It was pleaded by the dera head that time should be given to him in order to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court for revision of orders by an Additional Sessions Judge.

The exemption was allowed by Chief Judicial Magistrate Harjit Singh to the Dera head. The hearing is supposed to take place as scheduled. District Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) had also moved an application seeking six weeks’ time to arrange for video-conferencing of the accused, citing threat to law and order in the district.

Since yesterday, Bathinda was tensed with over 10,000 cops deployed to maintain law and order in case the dera chief appeared before the court.

The police had sealed the state’s borders and erected barricades around the judicial complex in anticipation of dera followers thronging the place.

The police had information about a likely attack between Sikh organizations and Dera followers. As a precautionary step, schools have been shut down by the wary administration. The dera head is accused of hurting the sentiments of Sikhs by wearing attire similar to one worn by the Tenth Sikh Guru.

The FIR against him was lodged in May, 2007. The local police had recommended cancellation of the FIR three days before the assembly elections last year.