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Punjab: Sikh group protests against Dera head

June 19, 2007 13:52 IST

Around 100 Sikhs on Tuesday gathered in Chandigarh demanding action against the head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for his recent "blasphemous act".

The followers, owing allegiance to the 'Sant Samaj', an umbrella organisation of various Sikh bodies, congregated at a shrine at Fatehgarh Sahib as police took precautionary measures to prevent any untoward incidents.

Sant Samaj activists led by Damdami Taksal chief Sant Harnam Singh Khalsa, related to the late Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale, have decided to court arrest.

"Our protest will be peaceful," Khalsa said adding, the Dera crisis was not yet over.

He reiterated his demand for the immediate arrest of the Dera head and closure of all its branches in Punjab.

Meanwhile, Punjab police have taken all precautionary measures to check any untoward incident, Inspector General (Zonal) M K Tiwari told PTI. Police force in adequate numbers would escort them, he said.

They were likely to meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Tiwari said.

He said that police had made traffic diversions at several places on the road between Fatehgarh Sahib to Handigarh so that those travelling by buses or any other vehicles do not suffer.

On Monday, Bathinda police, in a swift move, had moved a court there, seeking arrest warrants against Baba Gurmeet for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs. A case was registered against the head of Sirsa-based sect on this issue last month.

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