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Pakistan media projects Ram Rahim as Sikh leader, PSGPC objects

“He is not a Guru. He is not a Sikh. In fact, he is a rascal,” said Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) general secretary Gopal Singh, referring to Ram Rahim.

punjab Updated: Aug 31, 2017 11:06 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Pakistan media,Ram Rahim,Sikh leader
In a press conference in Lahore, PSGPC general secretary Gopal Singh denounced reports published in Pakistani newspapers and broadcast on news channels that projected Ram Rahim as a leader of the Sikh community(File Photo)

The conviction and imprisonment of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case has generated a controversy in Pakistan as well.

But for a different reason as the controversial godman was projected as a leader of the Sikh community by the media in the neighbouring country, prompting the local Sikhs to take strong exception to it.

“He is not a Guru. He is not a Sikh. In fact, he is a rascal,” said Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) general secretary Gopal Singh, referring to Ram Rahim.

“These channels and newspapers in Pakistan don’t know about him (Ram Rahim), so I had to clarify that he’s not a Sikh.”

In a press conference in Lahore on Tuesday, he denounced reports published in Pakistani newspapers and broadcast on news channels that projected Ram Rahim as a leader of the Sikh community, who was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for raping two dera sadhvis. “He can neither be a leader of the Sikhs nor part of the community,” said the PSGPC general secretary.

Referring to Geo TV news channel and some newspapers, Gopal Singh said, “These channels and newspapers in Pakistan don’t know about him (Ram Rahim), so I had to clarify (to the Pakistani media) that he’s not a Sikh,” he told HT, while talking over phone. “In fact, the Sikhs in Pakistan are glad that one who imitated our Guru (Gobind Singh) has been convicted,” he said.

Gopal Singh, also chairman of Punjabi Sikh Sangat in the neighbouring country, said Sikhs were ridiculed in Pakistan due to the false impression created by these reports that their spiritual leader has been convicted for a heinous crime.

He demanded even harsher punishment for the Dera Sacha Sauda chief, saying the 20-year jail was not sufficient for the crimes he committed. He said by suffixing Ram Rahim Singh with his name, the dera chief is hurting sentiments of all religions.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 11:06 IST