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Police seek permit for Dera head's arrest

Punjab Govt seeks support to prosecute Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2007 19:53 IST

Acting on a court directive, the Bhatinda police have moved an application to the Punjab government seeking its approval to prosecute embattled head of Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs.

"Police have sent an application to the government seeking sanction to prosecute the Dera head," Bhatinda police chief Naunihal Singh told PTI in Chandigarh on Saturday.

However, the state government is yet to decide on the police application, which is pending with the Principal Secretary (home), Chief Secretary RI Singh said.

A court in Bhatinda had on May 20 issued a conditional non-bailable warrant against the head of Sirsa-based sect.

On an application moved by police seeking arrest warrant against the Dera head, the court had observed that police would have to seek prior permission from the government before the prosecution of the Dera head.

The order of the Bhatinda court has to be executed by July 1.

Meanwhile, despite an appeal by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar to hardliners to defer their proposed march in Bhatinda tomorrow till it decides on the apology by the Dera head, the Khalsa Action Committee - comprising leaders of various Sikh religious groups - was adamant on its programme.

The members of Khalsa Action Committee along with several Sikhs will organise a march from Bina Kangar village to Talwandi Sabo, a Sikh temporal seat in Bhatinda on Sunday, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh said adding the march would be "peaceful" and pass from areas where there is a sizeable population of dera followers, including its main branch in Salabatpura village.

First Published: Jun 23, 2007 18:59 IST