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Dera moves SC for protection

india Updated: May 26, 2007 02:28 IST
Satya Prakash
Satya Prakash
Hindustan Times
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Faced with an ultimatum from Akal Takht to vacate its 'deras' across the country, the Dera Sacha Sauda on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking protection of its premises. The court, however, refused to give an urgent hearing saying the controversy should be resolved politically.



"These are matters to be sorted out politically at the government level," said a Bench headed by Justice Pasayat, who was criticised for staying the implementation of the OBC quota law recently.



The observation came when Dera counsel VK Ohri mentioned the Sirsa-based religious sect's petition for urgent hearing.



Ohri said as only two days were left for the deadline set by the Sikh High priests to close down the deras the court should pass some interim orders soon to protect them.



The petition filed by Abhijit Bhagat, a trustee and Vice-Chairman of the Dera sect, alleged that the Punjab government did not take any step against the threat and instead was supporting the Akalis.



The Bench initially fixed June 4 for next hearing but later allowed the Dera counsel to mention it on Monday.



The controversy began after Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh allegedly dressed up like 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. Sikh religious leaders termed it as an insult to the revered Guru.



Advocate Harvinder Kaur, who has filed a PIL seeking direction to the Dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim not to hurt Sikh sentiments by dressing like 'Gurus' or imitating them, also wanted an early hearing. But the court declined to oblige her. Kaur, who has requested the court to direct the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir to ensure protection of life and liberty of the Sikhs and the followers of Sacha Dera Sauda cult, has sought a compensation of at least Rs 10 lakh for the family of Kanwaljit Singh, who was killed in police firing at Sunam in Punjab.