Punjab police seek warrant against Dera chief


Bathinda (Punjab) : The Punjab police Monday sought an arrest warrant against Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh on the charge of hurting religious sentiments of the Sikh community.

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Police moved a court here seeking the warrant for the Dera chief who lives near Sirsa town in neighbouring Haryana, 100 km from here.

The arrest warrant has been sought on the basis of a case filed against the Dera chief here May 20 in which he was charged of hurting the religious sentiments of a community through his actions.

The case was registered under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court admitted the police plea but reserved its order.

The move by police comes a day before Sikh hardliners, led by Sant Samaj, are to court arrest at Chandigarh Tuesday seeking action against the Dera chief.

He has been accused of blaspheming the Sikh religion recently by attiring himself like 10th Sikh guru Gobind Singh.

The controversy led to widespread protests by Sikhs and clashes between members of the Sikh community and Dera followers. Punjab had remained on the boil for over a week mid-May.

Though the Dera head was later pressurized into apologizing, the Sikh community was not entirely satisfied and they wanted him arrested.

The Akal Takht – highest temporal seat of Sikhs – had asked the Dera to wind up its campuses from Punjab by May 27 but that did not happen. The Sikh community was also asked to socially boycott the Dera chief and all his followers – numbering nearly 2 million in Punjab.