Lawmakers appeal for peace as Sikhs demand justice
Chandigarh/Mumbai, June 25: Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal has appealed the people to maintain calm in the wake of protests by Sikhs over the alleged killing of a community member by security guards of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
"We appeal to all the people to maintain peace and brotherhood. No disruption of peace will be there," Badal said. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also promised strict action against anybody who takes the law into their hands. The Government of Haryana is fully prepared to maintain law and order in the state. Nobody is above law and law will take its course," Hooda said.
Meanwhile, Harnam Singh Dhuma, the chief of the Damdami Taksal, a Sikh militant organisation, has condemned the state administration for its leniency against the Dera chief who he believes has brought disrepute to the Sikh community.
"The government should take strict legal action against these people who don't have any regard for other religions. They should be punished, but the police is taking action against those who are protesting against it. This is partial treatment to a particular sect. The government should arrest him," claimed Dhuma.
Meanwhile, the president of the Mumbai unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal has urged the Maharashtra Government to punish the guilty.
"We demand that all guilty should be prosecuted immediately. Secondly, we request the Chief Minister and the Governor to accept the reaction of Sikhs to the killing as a sentimental outburst. The Government of Maharashtra has registered some cases against the protestors and we have requested it to treat them sympathetically," said Sukhbir. Ties between the Dera Sacha Sauda sect and Sikhs have been strained for nearly a year now after Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh allegedly imitated the last Sikh guru-- Guru Gobind Singh.
The enraged Sikh community forced Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to tender an apology, which was rejected by the Sikh clerics.