The Sikh clergy on Thursday concluded their formal protest programme against Dera Sacha Sauda with peacefully handing over a memorandum of demands to representatives of the governors of Punjab and Haryana at Fathegarh Sahib.
While the peace march planned up to Chandigarh was restricted to travel from Gurdwara Fathegarh Sahib to Gurdwara Jyoti Swaroop (a kilometre away) here, the “softening of approach” attracted criticism from the hardliners.
The march, led by Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti, which included SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and the other Sikh high priests, marked the end of the 17-day-long protests with the clergy leaving it up to the “Waheguru” to punish the offenders of the Sikh faith.
With no declaration of further course of action, the three-hour protest ended with the prayer to the Waheguru. As paramilitary and Punjab police personnel far outnumbered the protestors, who walked chanting “Satnam Waheguru”, there was not a slightest hint of disturbance, though a protest rally was held at Gurdwara Jyoti Swaroop, where the governors’ representatives reached to receive the memorandum.
The memorandum, containing four essential demands against the Dera, was received on behalf of the Punjab Governor by his ADC Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, while S.A.S. Nagar ADC Ajoy Sharma accepted it on behalf of the Haryana Governor.
Addressing the gathering, Jathedar Vedanti called upon the Sikhs to fight peacefully against the “sacrilegious acts” of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.