'Akal Takht's pardoning of Dera head politically motivated'

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Moga, Sep 25: Various Sikh organisations today rejected the decision of Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhs, to exonerate Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of blasphemy charges, while describing the move as "politically motivated".

The decision was rejected by All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF), Bhai Mohkam Singh's United Akali Dal and Dal Khalsa. "It is most unfortunate that Sikh clergies took this decision against the wishes of Sikhs," representatives of the organizations said here. AISSF President Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad said, "the decision of high priests is politically motivated."

Punjab

The Dera Sacha Sauda chief landed in a row with the Sikhs, after he attired himself as the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh during a religious congregation of the sect at their headquarters in Sirsa, Haryana in 2007.

After a marathon meeting of the Takht in Amritsar, Jathedar Gyani Gurbachan Singh yesterday announced that the Takht received a written apology recently from the chief of the Sirsa-headquartered sect in which Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has stated that he has deep respect and regard for Guru Gobind Singh as well as Sikh religion and Sikh community.

The protesting Sikh organisations, meanwhile, also questioned why there has been a delay in announcing the decision of pardoning the head of Sirsa-headquartered sect despite issuing a Hukamnama (edict) in the year 2007. AISSF President claimed that Dera Chief had not even bothered to give due respect to the Akal Takht, adding that the sect head gave his apology on a "simple piece of paper" without any Dera stamp. AISSF also appealed to all the Sikh organisations to convene 'Sarbat Khalsa' (assembly of Sikhs) to discuss this matter.

PTI

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