Dera chief open to talks; SGPC tells him don’t put riders | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Dera chief open to talks; SGPC tells him don’t put riders

chandigarh Updated: Apr 21, 2009 01:36 IST

Controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, accused of offending religious sentiments of the Sikhs, said he was open to talks with the Sikh clergy even as the SGPC insisted on Monday that he should not put riders in resolving the long-running row.

“We are open to talks in every way” with the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, to resolve the matter, the sect head said at a religious function in Sirsa in Haryana on Sunday.

He said “there is not a single day when we have not wanted peace... We have always maintained that responsible persons from both sides should come to the negotiating table.”

The Dera chief also reportedly offered to apologise to the Akal Takht for appearing in public attired as Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru, which had snowballed into a major controversy.

Welcoming the sect chief’s offer of fresh apology, the SGPC, a statutory body which manages affairs of Sikh shrines, insisted that he should not put riders for settling the row.

Ram Rahim Singh’s offer was a positive development, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee chief Avtar Singh Makkar told reporters in Kapurthala today.

He, however, added the Dera chief should not set any pre-condition of prior negotiated settlement between the two sides before offering the apology.