A passive response from the supporters of Thakur Udai Singh, the present head of the Namdhari sect, to the faction supporting Thakur Dalip Singh over the demand to restore "unity" in the sect has further added to the resolve of the protesting followers to continue the chain hunger strike in Ludhiana.
The chain hunger strike commenced by the supporters of Thakur Dalip Singh entered day two on Saturday. A group of Namdhari followers are sitting outside the mini-secretariat here, seeking permission from the deputy commissioner to Thakur Dalip Singh and his supporters to enter the gurdwara and dharamshala at Bhaini Sahib.
The supporters have formed Namdhari Panthak Ekta Committee with a view to uniting the sect followers.
Sukhdev Singh, a senior member of the committee, said, "Every member of the sect has the right to worship in the gurdwaras managed by the sect but the supporters of Thakur Udai Singh, in order to press the supporters of Thakur Dalip Singh, resorted to hooliganism and also managed to influence the administration through their political links. As a result, the followers of Thakur Dalip Singh were subjected to humiliation," Sukhdev said.
Navtej Singh, another senior member of the committee, said since there was no announcement made by Satguru Jagjit Singh before his death about the sect head, every Namdhari in favour of Thakur Dalip Singh had the right to do so. "This does not mean the supporters of Thakur Udai Singh should prevent us from entering the gurdwaras. Unfortunately, this is happening not only at Bhaini Sahib but in places like Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Himachal Pradesh," Navtej said.
Following the row over the sect headship which started immediately after the death of Satguru Jagjit Singh, in December 2012, the supporters of Thakur Udai Singh did not let Thakur Dalip Singh and his supporters enter Bhaini Sahib.
Fearing a law-and-order problem, the district administration had barred Thakur Dalip Singh and supporters from entering Bhaini Sahib.
Additional deputy commissioner Dr Amrit Kaur Gill and police commissioner Pramod Ban, having received the representation from the protesting Namdharis, have assured them to get back to them on Monday.