Sikh groups demand Dera chief’s arrest

Chandigarh: Sikh radical groups on Sunday gave an ultimatum for the arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by Tuesday as protests against the killing of a community member in Mumbai continued in Punjab and Haryana.

Damdami Taksal and Sant Samaj said if the Centre and Maharashtra Government failed to arrest the Dera chief by June 24, protesters would blockade rail tracks. They also demanded that the Z-plus security cover to him be withdrawn.

The Sirsa-based Dera, meanwhile, claimed the Mumbai incident where a 40-year-old Sikh was reportedly killed in firing by a bodyguard, was an “inadvertent hyper-reaction” and the protests that followed were “politically orchestrated”.

Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhuma told PTI from Mumbai, “if the Dera chief is not arrested by June 24, Sikhs will stop trains at various places the next day.” Protests continued in Punjab and Haryana with Sikhs carrying out processions and demonstrations at Sirsa, Moga and blocking rail traffic in Sangrur.

Dera’s chief spokesman Aditya Insaan claimed that the Dera chief was inside his vehicle surrounded by Mumbai police security and someone tried to ram a vehicle into his car.

“Whatever has happened is an inadvertent hyper reaction,” he said, referring to the firing incident on Friday.

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