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Sikhs to ''gherao'' Saudi Arabia Embassy tomorrow

Written by: Staff
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Amritsar, Aug 23 (UNI) Six buses loaded with Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC)-led protesters left here today to hold a demonstration before the Saudi Arabia Embassy in New Delhi tomorrow to protest against the alleged directives to members of the community in the Arab nation to trim beards.

Meanwhile, the Sikh Students Federation (SSF) and the youth-wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) have given a joint call for a bandh in Amritsar to protest against the ''atrocities'' committed against the community members outside the state.

Groups of Sikh activists going around IN markets old shopkeepers to keep the markets shut tomorrow. The police has taken precautionary measures to avert any untoward incident, SSP S S Srivastava told UNI.

Earlier, activists hailing from various Sikh religious, social and youth outfits including Rajinder S Mehta, Santokh Singh Samra and Amarjit Singh Pallahpur, left for New Delhi after paying obeisance at Pallah Saheb Gurdwara in the city outskirts.

According to SGPC secretary Harbeant Singh, the protesters will gherao the Saudi Arabia Embassy tomorrow after paying obeisance at a Gurdwara. They will shout slogans against the Saudi authorities and call upon them to withdraw their ''draconian and repressive diktats''.

Earlier, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar had stated that a number of Sikhs, who had gone to the Gulf country had been issued the directive and a doctor, Charanjit Singh had faxed a complaint to the SGPC saying that he had been asked to trim his beard. The SGPC had earlier taken up the matter with the Centre, saying that Sikhs reaching Saudi Arabia with valid and proper work permits were being given this ''outrageous'' direction.

UNI XC JN PB PC1958

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