Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan (KP) – This past week went peacefully in the States of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan but some disruption was noticed in the town of Ganga Nagar, and the fifth consecutive protest march was carried out by the Sikh Sangat in Punjab. Another case of rape by Gurmeet Ram Rahim was filed in the offices of the CBI by a former ‘saadhvi’ along with a report by Joginder Singh, father of Ranjit Singh, the driver of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who was ‘mysteriously murdered’. The police also arrested two members of the Dera Sacha Sauda cult for firing guns at the Sikh Sangat.
Disruptions between the Sikh Sangat, Dera followers and Police
The scene at Ganga Nagar turned violent when the local police officers allowed the Sacha Sauda followers to hold a naam-charcha program, despite the Government directives banning such programs. Upon receiving news of the naam-charcha program, the local Sikhs approached the Haryana Police, but only to find out that the program had already taken place and the Dera Followers were now leaving the village.
After finding out that the police have allowed the Dera Followers to conduct their anti-Sikh, derogatory program, the Sikh Sangat lashed out at the police officers. The situation turned violent when several dera followers gathered at the spot. During the incident, two men were reported as injured, but their allegiances have not been determined by the press.
Upon talking to the press after the incident, local Sikhs held that despite the fact the Dera leader has been proven guilty of wrong-doing by the CBI; some police officers were keen on supporting him. They alleged that talks were held with the police and an agreement was made to not allow the Dera followers to hold their blasphemous discourses. Despite the Sikh Sangat’s efforts of raising awareness and discussing the matter with the police before hand, the dera followers were allowed to meet while keeping the time and place secret.
Fifth consecutive protest march attended by thousands of Sikhs
During another incident, the Sikh Sangat in Punjab continued their peaceful struggle to raise awareness against the shady activities of the Dera Sacha Sauda leader. Another large scale protest march was organized by the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) leadership to demand the arrest of Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Bhai Mohkam Singh, the main spokesperson of the KAC was heading the protest march.
The protest march initiated from Gurdwara Sahib of village Rar (Mansa) and rallied through various village of District Mansa and finalized at the historical Gurdwara Sahib of village Faffre Bhaike. The march remained peaceful throughout the route.
Bhai Mohkam Singh, while addressing the press, demanded that now as the CBI has filed charges against the Dera Sacha Sauda leader, the Punjab and Haryana Police should be given the go-ahead to arrest him. Bhai Mohkam Singh said that despite the Sikh demands, the Indian Government extended the bail of Gurmeet Ram Rahim even though proof was available against him.
In regards to the recent Beant Sinh court ruling, Bhai Mohkam Singh said that the Sikh Nation admired Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara and Bhai Balwant Singh for their courageous acts, and their death sentence should be withdrawn and instead, Gurmeet Ram Rahim who has been proven guilty on charges of murder and rape, should be arrested by the police and given the death sentence as his acts have also left an awful impression on Sikhs worldwide.
During the protest march the Sikh Sangat shouted slogans against Dera Sacha Sauda, the Punjab Government, Parkash Badal, Rashtriya Sikh Sangat and other anti-Sikh organizations. The Sikh Sangat, especially the Youth, also raised slogans in favor of Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara, Bhai Balwant Singh, Bhai Dilawar Singh Babbar, S. Simranjit Singh Mann and Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu. One motive of the protest march was to seek the release of Bhai Hawara, Bhai Balwant Singh, S. Mann and Bittu.
Dera receives another set-back – CBI collects yet another rape case
The pile of cases against Dera Sacha Sauda leadership has found another addition when a former ‘saadhvi’ appeared in front of CBI officials and blamed the Dera leader for raping her thrice during the same night. The saadhvi, who asked to remain anonymous, appeared in front of the CBI and presented a fresh case that has not been heard before. She held that during the night, Gurmeet Ram Rahim abused her severely and despite her pleas for mercy, he continued with his acts.
After several days, when the saadhvi recovered, she was told to keep silent or else her father and brother would be killed. The saadhvi also explained the layout and setup of the Cult leader’s ‘guffa’ (residence) and the CBI has been able to match it with previous descriptions.
Father of Ranjit Singh claims threats from Dera
Joginder Singh, former Dera follower, has claimed that the Dera was placing threatening calls to him on a frequent basis for the past five years. Joginder Singh who is the father of Ranjit Singh, the former driver of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, had gone to court against the Dera Sacha Sauda leadership for murdering his son.
Joginder Singh alleged that he was asked to keep quiet in regards to his son’s murder or else he could also face a similar penalty. He was also promised an appropriate ‘compensation’ to settle the case. Joginder Singh has however praised the press and media for working to expose the activities of the cult.
Two Dera Sacha Sauda cult followers arrested by the Police
The mininformation campaign by Dera Sacha Sauda that they are peaceful and law-abiding was rebuked recently when Dera Sacha Sauda followers opened fired on the Sikh Sangat and injured several members of the Sikh community and the police (See PW report http://www.panthic.org/news/126/ARTICLE/3445/2007-07-25.html). In relation to the shooting that took place two weeks ago in Sirsa the police have arrested two followers of the cult. Babbra Insa and Balbir Insa are the ones who have been arrested in this case.
Initially the case was registered against 16 Sacha Sauda followers but the probe is still incomplete and it is likely that more arrests will be made soon. The case was filed by the Village Sarpanch named Ajit Singh shortly after the incident took place.