Sikh demonstrators paralyse rail routes in Punjab

June 25th, 2008 - 8:30 pm ICT by ANI  

Sirhind (Amritsar), June 25 ANI): Sikh demonstrators on Wednesday blocked railway routes in Punjab demanding action against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, over the alleged murder of a sikh youth by his bodyguards.
On June 21, a Sikh man in Mulund, a suburb of Mumbai, was allegedly killed by the security guards of Ram Rahim, who opened fire on Sikh protesters outside a shopping mall.
Damdami Taksal, a hardline Sikh organization had called for a blockade on the busy Delhi-Amritsar train route.
In a sit-in protest at Sirhind railway station of Fatehgarh Sahib District, the organization demanded arrest of Ram Rahim.
“Unless the government arrests and registers case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, killer of an innocent Sikh, this train blockade will continue from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Even then, if the government does not arrests him then the Sikh religious bodies will meet and decide on the future course of action,” Harnam Singh Bhindranwale, chief of the Damdami Taksal, said.
The community also organized a protest march in Amritsar and burnt an effigy of the chief of the Dera.
Meanwhile, the police are keeping a tight vigil to maintain peace.
“We have deployed force so that there is no sabotage activity by any quarter and it is our duty to ensure that this agitation passes off peacefully,” said Kaustubh Sharma, Senior Superintendent of Police of Fatehgarh Sahib District.
Relations between the followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect and mainstream Sikhs have been soured for almost a year now.
Dera chief sparked a huge uproar by the Sikhs a few months ago when Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh allegedly tried to imitate the dress and activities of the last Sikh guru:Guru Gobind Singh.
The move enraged the Sikh community.
Ram Rahim later tendered an apology, saying he had no intention of hurting the sentiments of the Sikhs, but the Sikh clerics rejected the apology. (ANI)

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