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Akalis seek arrest of DSGMC chief

The Shiromani Akali Dal accuses Delhi's top Sikh religious leader of stirring passions over the Sacha Sauda row.

delhi Updated: Jun 07, 2007 16:10 IST

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday demanded immediate arrest of Delhi's top Sikh religious leader, whom it accused of stirring passions over the Sacha Sauda row.

At a news conference in New Delhi, SAD Delhi Chief Avtar Singh Hit, a close lieutenant of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, alleged that both Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President Paramjit Singh Sarna and the Congress were trying to create unrest in the state.

Sarna, who unseated the SAD from religious power in Delhi five years ago, has been severely critical of Badal, whom he accuses of being soft on Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh under RSS pressure.

"The Akal Takht is supreme. We all have to abide by its decisions. But the Sarna brothers are trying to recreate 1984 in Punjab. They should be arrested along with the Dera chief," Hit, a former DSGMC president, said.

SAD Delhi secretary-general Kuldip Singh Bhogal slammed Haryana government for extending Z plus protection to the Dera leader.

In an apparent reference to caste divisions among Sikhs, the RSS, in its mouthpiece Panchjanya, meanwhile, has said the Sacha Sauda row has shown fissures in the community.

The Dera leader is believed to have a massive following among Dalit Sikhs and Hindus of Punjab, especially in the Malwa region of the state, while Badal's SAD, which controls the SGPC that appoints Jathedar of the Akal Takht, has its support mostly concentrated in Jat Sikhs.