Sikh religious leaders to stage 'dharna' at Raj Bhawans

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Chandigarh, Jun 26 (UNI) Saints and heads of different Sikh religious groups will stage 'dharnas' outside the Raj Bhawans of Punjab and Haryana next month to demand the arrest of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh for the Mumbai incident in which a Sikh was killed by his bodyguard.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the 'Sant Samaj', a conglomeration of different Sikh religious groups, held at Fatehgarh Sahib last night.

Giving details of the decisions taken at the meeting, Damdami Taksal head Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma told mediapersons here that the 'dharnas' would be held at the same time outside the two Raj Bhawans from July 9 to 19. The 'dharnas' would be of three-hour duration on each day and a minimum of 51 protestors would participate in the protests, he added.

When pointed out that prohibitory orders were in force in the areas in the vicinity of the two Raj Bhawans, Baba Dhuma quipped, ''Then we will sit wherever we are stopped from proceeding further.'' Pointing to the massive response to the Taksal's 'rail roko' yesterday, Baba Dhuma said the Sikhs want nothing short of the arrest of the Dera head. ''So far no government has taken any action against the Dera chief,'' he claimed.

The Taksal head made it clear that their protests would be peaceful. When asked about the brandishing of swords during such protests, he said, ''The sword is the religious symbol of the Sikhs''.

Baba Dhuma questioned the security cover provided to the Dera head and said the VIP treatment should be stopped as Ram Rahim was being tried in a criminal case for murder and rape. The killing of a Sikh in Mumbai was ''a deliberate action and there was no provocation as the Dera head was claiming,'' he alleged.

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