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Dera chief’s apology “unacceptable”

Sarabjit Pandher

Neither was the letter signed by Dera chief nor any mention made about the “mistake”: Vedanti

— Photo: AP

Taking stock: Sikh head priests holding a meeting inside the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar on Wednesday in the wake of an apology by Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

CHANDIGARH: The apex Singh Sahibs (clerics), representing the five temporal seats of the Sikh faith, have found the second “reworded” apology from Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh “unacceptable.”

Without using the word “rejected,” the Singh Sahibs, who met at the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat) in the Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) complex in Amritsar on Wednesday, ruled that the letter was a press note and not a letter of apology.

“No assurance”

Jathedar of the Akal Takht Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, told presspersons that neither was the letter signed by the Dera chief, nor was there any mention about the “mistake” that hurt the Sikhs’ sentiments.

The letter gave no assurance that such incidents would not be repeated.

On June 20, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president Paramjit Singh Sarna, claimed to have received and further conveyed another letter of apology from the Dera chief. He claimed it was addressed to the community along with Guru Gobind Singh.

Last month witnessed major protests from Sikh organisations. They accused the Dera chief of having imitated Guru Gobind Singh in attire and rituals of baptism.

His apology letter, addressed to the Guru, failed to reverse the Akal Takht edict, calling for a total boycott of the sect and launching of a campaign to close the Dera premises in the State.

“Maintain calm”

Appealing for calm and intensifying the “Dharamparchar campaign,” the Jathedar asked Sikhs to assemble at Ratia village, Haryana, to protest the persecution of those who protested against the controversial actions of the Dera chief.

Instead of expediting action against the Dera chief, who was facing major criminal cases, the Government had extended Z-plus security cover to him, he said.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee too “rejected” the fresh apology as it did not reflect any seriousness or repentance.

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