Punjab Police register case against Dera chief
May 20, 2007 - 2:00:55 PM

Chandigarh, May 20 - The Punjab Police Sunday registered a case against the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief for 'deliberately' outraging the religious feelings of the Sikh community.

The First Information Report -, against Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, was registered at Kotwali police station in Bathinda, 250 km from here, on a complaint by Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Bathinda, and Khalsa Dewan president Rajinder Singh.

The FIR cited the 'offence of deliberate or malicious act intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or its religious beliefs' against the sect chief.

It was registered after Inspector General of Police M.K. Tiwari submitted a report to the state government on the violence that erupted in parts of Punjab last week between sections of Sikhs and members of the sect.

An official spokesman confirmed that an FIR had been registered.

Many Sikhs have taken offence to a photograph of the sect chief attired like the 10th Sikh guru, Gobind Singh. The Sikh community has demanded his arrest and sought an apology from him for blasphemy.

The sect chief, who lives at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa, 300 km from here, had Saturday night issued a statement regretting the advertisement that showed him dressed like the Sikh guru.

However, the regret has not cut much ice with the Sikh leaders who demanded that he be arrested and seek a public apology from the Akal Takht - the highest temporal seat of Sikhs in the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

The Sikh clergy has given a 72-hour ultimatum to the Punjab government to arrest the sect chief. The deadline expires Sunday.

Sikh leaders are meeting in Amritsar to decide the next course of action on the controversial and colourful sect chief.

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