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Bhikhi remains under curfew; government and media take up positions against Sikhs

January 3, 2011 | By

Ludhiana/Mansa (January 03, 2011): Punjab government has come up openly in support of Dera Sauda Sirsa (DSS), as the Punjab police yesterday arrested Sikh preacher Baba Baljeet Singh Daduwal and prevented him to address a Gurmat Samagam at Bhikhi town of Mansa district. Dadulwal was arrested by police from Gurudwara Jandsar, Bathinda. Police claims that it was a preventive measure, forced by repeated complaints of DSS followers.
Before it, DSS followers damaged the electricity line of Bhikhi Town in order to prevent Sikhs from holding the religious gathering. It is worth mentioning that Gurmeet Ram Raheem, head of DSS is accused of blasphemy, who attempted to personify himself as tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Personification of Sikh Gurus is strictly prohibited in Sikhism.
Police yesterday resorted to cane-charge on Sikhs, damaged their vehicles, and arrested many of them after clamping curfew in the town. More than fifty Sikhs are taken in custody today as the curfew is extended to indefinite time.
Police today prevented Sikh leader Simranjeet Singh Mann, President of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) from entering the town.
On the other hand main stream media of India has come to support repression on Sikhs. One of the main (English) newspapers published from Punjab has described Baba Baljeet Singh as “hard-line Sikh preacher”, while used the word “religious head” for Gurmeet Ram Raheem, who is facing charges of rape, sexual exploitation and murder. This news report used word “hard-liners” for Sikhs for six times, and the word “radicals” is used for seven times. All this seems to have done with intention to distort the image of Sikhs as a peaceful community.
Many Sikh organizations including Dal Khalsa, Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani), Sikh Students Federation, Khalsa Action Committee, Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Satikar Sabha and Malwa Tarna Dal (International) has condemned the arrest of Baba Baljeet Singh and repression on Sikhs. They have threatened to launch a strong protest if Daduwal is not released and Sikhs are prevented from holding religious gatherings.

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