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Dera-Sikh clash ! How many more Sikhs will be killed ?

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Dera-Sikh clash! How many more Sikhs will be killed ?

Dera-Sikh clash: Three arrested in connection with firing


Three persons have been arrested in connection with the firing by the body guard of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh outside a suburban mall here, which left one person dead.

"Three persons of the group, who are suspected to have fired, have been arrested and the revolver used in the crime has also been recovered from them," a senior police officer said here.

A group of Sikhs had raised anti-Dera slogans inside the Nirmal Lifestyles mall in suburban Mulund during a visit by the Dera head to the place last evening, which led to an altercation between Singh's supporters and the Sikh group, that later turned violent.

Asked if any action would be taken against the sect head, the officer said it will depend only upon the progress made during investigations and on the statements of arrested people as well as the witnesses.

A case of murder, attempt to murder and unlawful assembly under the provisions of Arms Act has been registered in connection with the incident, which left one dead and two others injured.

The police officer said the entire probe into the case has been now handed over to the city police's crime branch for investigation.

The body of the deceased, Balkar Singh Thakur Singh has been, meanwhile, sent for postmortem and security has been beefed up across the city to avert any possibility of road blockades by the Sikh community to protest against the incident.

Security has been stepped up at the mall, the Mulund police station and other spots in the vicinity.

The Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, and the Eastern Express Highway, both important arterial roads, were blocked by protestors from the Sikh community till 0230 hours this morning but traffic has been moving smoothly since daybreak.

Ram Rahim Singh left Khopoli last night itself and is reported to have reached Pune airport from where he will take a flight for a north Indian destination, police sources said.

"A mob of over hundered persons were stopped on their way to Khopoli at Airoli junction on the Eastern Express highway resulting in a traffic blockade. We had reports that the mob was on its way to take action ....Against Singh and his followers, who were held near Khopoli," the officer added.

Sikhs have been enraged at Singh after he was seen at a public function dressed as Sikh Guru Gobind Singh in Haryana's Sirsa where a religious commune started by him is located.



Guard of Sirsa's rapist baba shoots a Sikh dead, Baba whisked away

Emergency meeting at 6 pm at Sri Guru Singh Sabha Dadar

WSN Bureau

MUMBAI: SHOTS rang out in a crowded Mall in India's commercial and business capital Mumbai when security guards of Dera Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim fired point blank into unarmed, innocent Sikhs protesting against the self-styled fraudulent holy man. One Sikh was killed, the Baba was whisked away.

The incident occured at the upmarket Nirmal Lifestyle Mall and agitating Sikhs immediately took to the streets and blocked traffic. The victim was identified as Balkar Singh. Two others were also injured. The Dera chief was present in the area when the killing happened.

The Sikh community in Mumbai has announced that they will not cremate Balkar Singh, unless the 'Baba' is arrested.

On Saturday, the Sikhs blocked railway tracks and a shutdown was observed in areas dominated by the community. Last evening witnessed clashes between Sikh protesters and bodyguards Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

India's federal investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has named Gurmeet as a prime accused in murder and rape cases but the Government of India continues to back and support the baba because of his anti-Sikh stance.

Sikhs squatted on railway tracks near Mulund station and stopped suburban and long distance train services from 11.30 a.m. This inevitably caused some hardship to thousands of office-goers and college students.

A Central Railway spokesman said the agitators blocked all the four lines and damaged the Mulund railway station. He added that two suburban lines were later cleared with police help and the other two would be cleared soon.

Mulund and neighbouring suburbs of northeast Mumbai remained tense Saturday with a shutdown observed since morning. Groups of Sikhs were seen walking the streets, brandishing swords.

All schools and colleges run by the Sikh community remained closed and a shutdown was in place in Sikh majority areas in Thane district like Kalyan and Ulhasnagar.

Badal protests

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called his Maharashtra counterpart Vilasrao Deshmukh and demanded that those responsible for the firing be arrested. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil ordered an inquiry into the incident.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and the DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna, alongwith many others, have expressed solidarity with the Sikhs in Mumbai and urged the government of Maharashtra to arrest the pseudo-baba.

SGPC has announced a grant of Rupees two lakhs for the family of the deceased who was a daily wage earner for his family.

Some of India's TV news channels went hammer and tongs against the Sikh protesters in their bulletins, ignoring the long drawn out struggle being put up by the Sikh community against the Baba who has been provided Z-level security by the state, the highest in the land. The Sikhs of course must take care during the protests because there is no end to the embedded enemies in the media that will make a mountain out of any mistake.

And for a community that professes Sarbat Da Bhala, it is all the more necessary that it sends out signals to that effect.

And the TV channels would do well to see the restraint of the Sikhs over the months right from the time when the Sikh crowds could have razed Salabatpura dera to dust but held their rage and anger. The point is: When will the media start seeing the things in a wholesome perspective?

20 June, 2008

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