Special Correspondent

`Such intervention by religious organisations has dangerous implications'

  • Centre issues fresh advisories to seven States
  • Union Home Ministry monitoring the situation

    NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday expressed concern at the escalation of tension and the clashes between followers of Sikh religious organisations and the Dera Sacha Sauda in Punjab.

    The Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party Government in the State could not take a soft attitude to the ``growing intervention of religious bodies and fanning of extremist passions,'' the party Polit Bureau said in a statement.

    ``It is unfortunate that the Akal Takht and the five high priests gave a call for a State-wide bandh on May 22 and an ultimatum to the State Government to seal all assets of the Dera by May 27. This type of intervention by religious organisations in the public and political spheres has dangerous implications. One has to only recall the past history of violence and terrorist activities which were unleashed in Punjab in the 1980s,'' it said.

    Certain actions of the Dera had come under the purview of the law and these cases must be pursued.

    ``It [the Akali Dal-BJP Government] must firmly discharge its constitutional obligations to maintain peace and protect the rights of all communities,'' the statement said.

    Appeal to people

    The Polit Bureau appealed to the people of Punjab to rebuff the extremists on both sides, bent upon sowing discord, and ensure that peace and communal amity were maintained. The Union Home Ministry has issued fresh advisories to seven States to maintain peace and protect the properties of the Dera, a spokesman said.

    Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar were issued fresh advisories on Tuesday morning. Punjab was given one on Monday.

    The Ministry was in regular touch with the Punjab Government and monitoring the situation, he added.