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Supreme Court Refuses To Intervene In Stand Off !

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Supreme Court refuses to intervene in Dera Sacha Sauda-Sikhs stand off

Supreme Court refuses to intervene in Dera Sacha Sauda-Sikhs stand off

From our ANI Correspondent

New Delhi, May 25: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to intervene in the stand off between the Dera Sacha Sauda sect and Sikh organisations and asked them to resolve differences politically.

The Dera sect, in a petition filed before the apex court, sought protection for all the Deras (camps) across the country against an alleged edict given by the Akal Takht, the top Sikh body, to stop their activities by May 27.

Dera's Vice-Chairman and trustee, Abhijit Bhagat, in his petition also asked the Supreme Court to restrain Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) from making statements against it.

The court said that the matter was for the Punjab Government to handle and the court would not like to intervene at this juncture.

The apex Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and D K Jain posted the matter for further hearing on June 4.

The court will also take up another petition filed on a similar issue then. A Public Interest Litigation seeks protection to the lives and properties of both the Sikhs and Dera sect followers.

On May 20, the Akal Takht served an ultimatum to the Punjab Government to close down all the Dera camps in the State by May 27.

On Thursday, Badal held an emergency meeting of his party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLAs and MPs on the differences with the Dera Sacha Sauda.

Badal has assured the Dera sect of full protection.

After the meeting, Badal said that nobody will be allowed to harm the Deras and peace will be maintained at all cost in the State.

A sectarian row was sparked off last week after the publication of an advertisement in which Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh was shown in a dress similar to that of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs.

The Sikh body has since been demanding that the Dera shut all of its camps in Punjab.

Gurmeet Singh has expressed regret, but Sikh leaders are not satisfied and want a public apology, which he has refused to give so far.

Skirmishes between rival groups flared into mob violence last week when the Akal Takht urged Sikhs to boycott the Dera Sacha Sauda sect.

One person was killed and over 50 were injured in sectarian clashes in different cities, mainly in Punjab, Haryana and Jammu.

Copyright Dailyindia.com/ANI
Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
SAD, mediator ask PM to resolve row
Pioneer News Service - Chandigarh 26-5-2007
Badal upset with Takht chief, conveys displeasure to Vedanti

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday reportedly conveyed his displeasure to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti over certain recent statements issued by him on Dera Sacha Sauda dispute.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal has said the Central Government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should play a "positive and active role" for peaceful solution to the standoff between followers of Dera Sacha Sauda and various Sikh organisations. Also, Swami Agnivesh, who is mediating in the row has sought the Prime Minister's immediate intervention to save the "explosive situation" in the interest of peace and national integration, adds PTI.

On Thursday, Badal had reprimanded SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar for speaking out against dera and blaming AICC president Sonia Gandhi for fuelling the dispute. Badal had told Makkar to withdraw his statement.
Amid confusion on finding a solution to the dispute,the efforts to bring peace appears to have fizzled out following dera's decision to opt for legal recourse without giving peace makers a chance to end the standoff.

It is feared that a fresh round of violence may grip Punjab in the first week of June when Sikhs would be observing 24th anniversary of Operation Blue Star conducted by Army in Golden Temple on June 6. Sikhs observe the day as "Ghhallughara" day.

Takht sources in Amritsar said that they had not received any fresh response from Swami Agnivesh who was trying to break the deadlock and had persuaded the dera chief to offer apology.

Badal on Thursday after the meeting of his party executive committee had given clear signals that he wanted to give long rope to the dispute with dera and assured to maintain law and order. It was in this context that he was upset over statements by Makkar and Vedanti that they would stick to the decision of the Sikh clergy.

It is understood that the Punjab Government could not defy the Takht decisions. Badal has said that the stand of his party (Shiromani Akali Dal) was made clear to the public. The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of SAD has condemned the dera and endorsed Akal Takht edict. Badal had softened his stand during the past two days due to pressure from the BJP which wanted to settle the matter. The talks by the Sarv Dharam Committee have failed to reach any conclusion after dera backed out from apology due to certain suspicions.

On the other hand, radical Sikh organisations and Akali factions are waiting for the Akal Takht decision on vacating the deras. Mohakam Singh, spokesperson of Damdami Taksal, has said in Amritsar that they would not agree to anything less than vacating deras and arrest of Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.

SC to hear Dera plea on May 27

PNS | New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday advanced to May 27 the hearing of a petition seeking protection to the properties of Dera Sacha Sauda and its followers all across the country in view of an ultimatum issued by the Akal Takht.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and DK Jain, which had earlier fixed the hearing for June 4, passed the present order subsequently when it was told that the ultimatum given by the Akal Takht for the closure of the Dera and its units would expire on May 27 and the petition should be heard at least on the same day.

The petition was filed by Abhijeet Bhagat, Trustee Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa (Haryana), Gurdas Singh of Ganganagar (Rajasthan) and Ompir Singh of Meerut (UP).

It was contended in the petition that since the Punjab Government had turned a blind eye to the May 27 ultimatum, the petitioners were forced to approach the apex court seeking protection of their fundamental rights under article 21 of the Constitution.

The petition said there were 160 branches of Deras spread over 13 States, having a following of about 3 crore people. Besides the Union Government, 13 States including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, have been arrayed as respondents in the petition.

Earlier in the morning, counsel Harvinder Kaur, who had filed a similar petition against the Dera, also sought early listing of the case. The Bench told her "these problems could be better solved politically at the Government level".
The petition filed by the Dera trustee prayed for a direction to various States to protect the life, liberty and property of the Dera and its followers. It said that the Dera and its members had received various threats, including from the Akali Dal, that the Dera and all its properties would be "annihilated" unless it voluntarily ceased all its activities by May 27.

The petitioner said the inaction of the State Governments in not protecting the Dera followers despite such open threats being issued repeatedly was in violation of their right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The Akal Takht, a highest religious body of Sikhs, had on May 20 served an ultimatum to the Punjab Government to close down all the Deras in the state by May 27. The stand-off was triggered by Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's alleged insult to the 10th Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh.

The petitioner said the Punjab Government had totally failed to maintain law and order. Rather, the police were mute spectators and the offence was spreading in Haryana and other parts of the country.

In her public suit, Kaur urged the court to restrain the Dera chief from indulging in "provocative" acts and the paramilitary forces from resorting to "atrocities" against the local people.

She said that she was participating in a legal literacy programme in Punjab and was a witness to last week's clashes that erupted after the Dera chief reportedly attired himself as Guru Gobind Singh. She sought compensation for the family of 28-year-old Kanwaljit Singh who was killed in firing by the security personnel at Sangrur in Punjab.

Kaur submitted that Singh was married only one-and-half years ago and was survived by his widow and a six-month old child. She further alleged that the paramilitary forces like the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the Border Security Force (BSF) were taking advantage of the clashes and indulging in excesses against innocent Sikh families.
May 27, 2007
I am not aware of the set up and inter relationship of Akal Takht and SGPC. KIndly let me know? Akal Takht should be under SGPC. Am I correct.?
Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Akal Takhat: Throne of the Immortal

The Akal Takhat in the morning as the sun rises

Akal Takhat means the Throne of the Immortal. The Akal Takhat was founded by Guru Hargobind on June 15, 1606 and was established as the place from which the spiritual and temporal concerns of the Sikh community could be acted upon. It is the most supreme of all the Takhats. There are four other takhats established by the Gurus:
  • Keshgarh Sahib (Anandpur)
  • Patna Sahib
  • Hazur Sahib
  • Damdama Sahib
The Jathedar of the Akal Takhat is the highest spokesperson of the Sikh Panth and is meant to be a spiritual leader without control or influence from any outside, politically motivated sources
( including the SGPC ). The present jathedar is Bhai Joginder Singh Vedanti.

source: http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php?title=Akal_Takht