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Sikh outfits appeal: Don’t bother with Ram Rahim’s verdict, but be ready for self-defence

Hardliner Sikhs have a history of conflict with the dera, most violently over sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s alleged dressing up as Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh master, in 2007.

punjab Updated: Aug 23, 2017 21:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Sikh outfits,Dera sacha sauda,dera sacha sauda news
Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh on Wednesday asked Sikhs to “be ready for the things that will prevail due to the verdict and ensure safety.”(HT File Photo)

As Dera Sacha Sauda followers gather at several places and allegedly accumulate weapons in Punjab and Haryana ahead of the August 25 court verdict in a rape case on the sect head, Sikh organisations have urged the community to stay out of the matter.

Hardliner Sikhs have a history of conflict with the dera, most violently over sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s alleged dressing up as Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh master, in 2007.

Giani Gurbachan Singh, jathedar (head) of the temporal seat Akal Takht, in Amritsar on Wednesday asked Sikhs to “be ready for the things that will prevail due to the verdict and ensure safety”. He said the dera’s followers can “materialise any unfortunate incident on the day of the verdict under their bad intentions” and that Sikhs should “make arrangements for self-defence as well as for the security of gurdwaras”. Sikhs should gather at gurdwaras to keep vigil there to prevent any untoward incident, he added.

“The government also knows about the possible situation and it is responsible to maintain peace. As for the court’s proceeding against the dera chief, Sikhs should not bother; but be cautious,” he said, adding that the dera followers should respect the court’s decision.

Hardliner outfit Dal Khalsa asked Sikhs to maintain distance from the issue and keep peace. Addressing a press conference in Bathinda on Wednesday, its senior vice-president Hardeep Singh said, “Sikhs have nothing to do with the prevailing situation as the matter is clearly between the governments and Dera Sacha Sauda.”

He urged Sikhs not to get provoked from any kind of misinformation as “attempts are being made to create tension by projecting the matter as between Sikhs and dera followers ahead of the verdict”. Saying that justice should prevail in the case, he maintained, “In any case, Sikhs should remain alert and protect themselves.”

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 20:56 IST