Dera row: Police thwart march to Akal Takht

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Old 02-Nov-2015
Post Dera row: Police thwart march to Akal Takht

The police today put several panthic leaders under house arrest, preventing them from marching towards Akal Takht over their demand for the resignation of jathedars.
The Sikh activists under the ambit of Damdami Taksal (Sangrawan) had planned an indefinite sit-in opposite Akal Takht demanding the resignation of five Takht heads over the exoneration of Sirsa’s Dera Sacha Sauda chief for his alleged blasphemous act of 2007.
The activists were peeved at the SGPC’s recent statement that the existing Takht heads could not be replaced and would continue to hold their positions. Around 10 am, the police led by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (City-I) HS Sandhu cordoned off the Sant Avenue area leading to Damdami Taksal (Sangrawan) chief Ram Singh’s house where his supporters were to assemble.
They were to join leaders of various panthic groups, including All-India Sikh Students Federation, SAD (Panch Pardhani), SAD (Amritsar) and United Akali Dal, to take out a peaceful march from Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj, Chatiwind Chowk, to the Akal Takht secretariat.
Several panthic supporters blocked the Amritsar-Jalandhar GT road for half an hour after the police used mild force to confine them. Ram Singh later called off the protest prompting his supporters to end the blockade. The police, however, kept them under preventive custody till 1 pm in the Sant Avenue area. ADCP Sandhu said: “We kept them under detention since we had information that they were planning to block the GT road. There were no official orders to restrain them from going to the Takht.”
Ram Singh, however, said the police were well-informed and had orders to prevent the activists from approaching the Akal Takht secretariat.
“We had set October 31 deadline for all five Takht heads to quit. Otherwise, we had announced a peaceful protest at the Akal Takht secretariat from today. Dishonouring the Panj Pyaras, the SGPC refused to remove the Takht heads, whose move to pardon the Sirsa dera chief was politically motivated. This had created turbulence among Sikhs,” he said.

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