Ashes of Sant Rama Nand taken to Hardwar in procession
JALANDHAR: Hundreds of followers of Ballan based dera sachkhand and their cavalcade of more than 150 cars and other vehicles carrying last remains of the slain Sant Rama Nand , deputy head of the dera Sachkhand , Ballan near here left for Hardwar this morning.
The ashes would be immersed in the waters of the holy Ganges and to perform other rituals for the peace of the departed Sant killed in a shootout in a Vienna Gurudwara on May 24.
A pot (Kalash) containing remains of the Sant, draped in a saffron cloth was placed in an open vehicle decorated fully with flowers led the cavalcade of the office bearers and followers of the dera Sachkhand. Four vehicles full of security personals of the Punjab police escorted the cavalcade to facilitate it reach the territory of the adjoining district safely. People came down on the roads to pay last homage to the deceased Sant. The cavalcade passed out of the city peacefully.
A number of prominent persons like former minister Joginder Singh Maan paid tributes to the religious leader who was shot dead in Vienna on May 24. Tight Security arrangements were made under the instructions of the Phagwara DSP Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh.
PHAGWARA: Hundreds of followers of Dera Sach Khand Ballan turned out here Monday morning to pay tributes to ashes of Sant Rama Nand who died in May 24 in Vienna. The procession taking ashes was on their way to Haridwar for immersion in Ganga.
Several Prominants including former minister Joginder Singh Maan paid tributes to the religious leader who was shot dead in Vienna on May 24. Tight Security arrangements were made by Phagwara DSP Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh who himself monitored the security arrangements.
Later Religious Procession along with ashes of the Swami Rama Nand Ji later proceeded to Haridwar.The ashes would be immersed in Ganga River in Harid
One of six gurdwara attack suspects freed in Vienna
Vienna/London (PTI) One of the six suspects, detained in connection with the attack on two visiting Indian Sikh preachers in Vienna last month, has been released due to lack of evidence.
"The man has been released because there has not been enough evidence against him to justify keeping him behind bars," said his lawyer Philipp Winkler.
Three other suspects, including the alleged mastermind of the attack in which Dera Sachh Khand leader Guru Ramandand Dass was killed and Sant Niranjan Dass was severely injured, will remain in custody for the time being, while a decision on two other suspects would be taken next week, police said.
The ringleader of the attack, who sustained a gunshot wound in his head, is in police custody in an artificially induced coma in a Vienna hospital.
The body of Sant Ramanand was flown back in a special chartered flight sent by the government of India and was cremated early this week.
Investigators probing the incident at Ravi Dass Gurdwara near the Westbahnhof railway station on May 24, have secured over 300 pieces of forensic evidence, which means it could take months before the first results of the investigation are disclosed, police said.
The incident had sparked off violent clashes in Punjab and Haryana between followers of different sects.
Dera Guru Sant Ramanand Cremated In Punjab
[ 04 Jun 2009, 08:26:22 ]
Dera Sachkhand leader Sant Rama Nand, whose death in a shooting incident in Vienna sparked off large-scale violence in Punjab recently, was on Thursday cremated with full state honours at the sect headquarters at Ballan near Jalandhar amidst tight security.
An apparently unending stream of devotees braved the scorching heat to turn up at the sect headquarters to pay their last respects to the deputy sect head as his mortal remains were kept at Satsang Bhawan for public viewing after being flown in here in a chopper in the morning.
The area, about 15 kms from Jalandhar, was virtually converted into a cantonment as on each and every point to the entry towards Ballan, large posse of cops was deployed to avert any untoward incident.
Brought by a special aircraft from Vienna to New Delhi in the wee hours, Rama Nands mortal remains were received by Union Ministers Ambika Soni, Kumari Selja and Parneet Kaur along with former Punjab Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujaral, sources said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati asked Dalits to capture political power to ensure equality and justice for all. "Unless and until Dalits do not hold the key to power, such type of attacks would continue to derail any attempt to bring social reforms", she said and termed the killing of Sant Rama Nand in Vienna as a "deep conspiracy" to derail Ravidass mission initiated by him to bring social reforms.
"The Vienna attack was a deep conspiracy to derail the Ravidass Mission which was launched by Sants of Dera Sachkhand to bring social reforms", Mayawati, who came to attend the funeral ceremony of Sant Rama Nand told reporters.
The BSP president, however, said it would not be proper to reveal the "conspiracy details" at this juncture but she would surely make them public later.
"I have written a letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and will meet him very soon to take up the issue with Austrian authorities and demand speedy probe into the Vienna attack so that the guilty could be punished", she added.
Mayawati alleged Sant Rama Nand was "rightly propagating" Guru Ravidass preaching on social transformation among the masses and his killing was a "major setback" for Ravidass mission.
ਪੰਜਾਬ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਨੇ ਸੰਤ ਰਾਮਾਂ ਨੰਦ ਦੀ ਮ੍ਰਿਤਕ ਦੇਹ ਲਿਆਉਣ ਲਈ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਜਹਾਜ਼ ਭੇਜਿਆ
ਆਸਟਰੀਆ ਦੇ ਗੋਲੀ ਕਾਂਡ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਸੰਤ ਰਾਮਾਂ ਨੰਦ ਦੀ ਮ੍ਰਿਤਕ ਦੇਹ ਨੂੰ ਜਲੰਧਰ ਲਿਆਉਣ ਲਈ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਨੇ ਇੱਕ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਜਹਾਜ਼ ਵਿਆਨਾ ਭੇਜਿਆ ਹੈ । ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਪਾਰਲੀਮਾਨੀ ਸਕੱਤਰ ਅਵਿਨਾਸ਼ ਚੰਦਰ ਦੀ ਅਗਵਾਈ ਵਾਲੀ ਚਾਰ ਮੈਂਬਰੀ ਟੀਮ ਜਿਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਮੁੱਖ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਦੇ ਸਕੱਤਰ ਸ: ਦਰਬਾਰਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਗੁਰੂ , ਇੱਕ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਡਾਕਟਰ ਅਤੇ ਇੱਕ ਨਰਸ ਸ਼ਾਮਿਲ ਹਨ । ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਸੰਤ ਰਾਮਾ ਨੰਦ ਦੀ ਮ੍ਰਿਤਕ ਦੇਹ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਵਿਆਨਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਜ਼ਖਮੀ ਹੋਏ ਡੇਰਾ ਬੱਲਾਂ ਦੇ ਮੁਖੀ ਸੰਤ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਦਾਸ ਵੀ ਆ ਰਹੇ ਹਨ , ਜੋ ਕੇ ਜ਼ੇਰੇ ਇਲਾਜ ਹਨ । ਰਾਜ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਉਕਤ ਜਹਾਜ਼ ਕਿਰਾਏ ’ਤੇ ਇਕ ਨਿੱਜੀ ਖੇਤਰ ਦੀ ਕੰਪਨੀ ਤੋਂ ਲਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ, ਜੋ ਕੇਂਦਰੀ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਕਮਲ ਨਾਥ ਦੀ ਇਕ ਕੰਪਨੀ ਨਾਲ ਸੰਬੰਧਿਤ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ। ਇਸ ਜਹਾਜ਼ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਸੰਤ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਦਾਸ ਦੇ ਕੁਝ ਇਕ ਹੋਰ ਚੋਣਵੇਂ ਸੇਵਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਵੀ ਨਾਲ ਆਉਣ ਦੀ ਸੰਭਾਵਨਾ ਹੈ। ਰਾਜ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਨਿੱਜੀ ਖੇਤਰ ਦੀ ਇਸ ਕੰਪਨੀ ਨੂੰ ਕੁਲ ਸਫਰ ਦੇ ਆਧਾਰ ’ਤੇ ਪੈਸੇ ਦੀ ਅਦਾਇਗੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਣੀ ਹੈ, ਜੋ ਰਾਜ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਦੇ ਸੂਤਰਾਂ ਅਨੁਸਾਰ 70 ਤੋਂ 80 ਲੱਖ ਦਰਮਿਆਨ ਹੋਣ ਦੀ ਸੰਭਾਵਨਾ ਹੈ। ਉਕਤ ਟੀਮ ਸੰਤ ਰਾਮਾਨੰਦ ਦੀ ਮ੍ਰਿਤਕ ਦੇਹ ਅਤੇ ਜ਼ਖ਼ਮੀ ਸੰਤ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਦਾਸ ਨੂੰ ਲੈ ਕੇ 3 ਜੂਨ ਦੇਰ ਰਾਤ ਨੂੰ ਵਾਪਸ ਪਰਤੇਗੀ ਅਤੇ 4 ਜੂਨ ਨੂੰ ਸਵੇਰੇ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਏਅਰ ਫੋਰਸ ਦੇ ਇਕ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਜਹਾਜ਼ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਮ੍ਰਿਤਕ ਦੇਹ ਅਤੇ ਸੰਤ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਦਾਸ ਨੂੰ ਡੇਰਾ ਬੱਲਾਂ ਪਹੁੰਚਾਇਆ ਜਾਏਗਾ। ਭਾਰਤੀ ਏਅਰ ਫੋਰਸ ਦਾ ਇਹ ਜਹਾਜ਼ ਵੀ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਕਿਰਾਏ ’ਤੇ ਲਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ, ਜਿਸ ਲਈ ਕਿਰਾਇਆ ਰਾਜ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਅਦਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾਣਾ ਹੈ।
Punjab Sikhs to agitate if cases against rioters withdrawn
JALANDHAR: A day after Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal gave an assurance to Dera Sachkhand to review cases against protesters who indulged in violence after the killing of a sect leader in Vienna, a group of social and religious leaders Sunday threatened an agitation if the cases were withdrawn.
The group had a meeting at local Paragpur Gurudwara and constituted a 101-member committee to take up its issues with the State Government.
Addressing the meeting former president of All India Sikh Students Federation Harinder Singh Kahlon said that the compensation announced by the state government for the kin of deceased protestors means it is honouring those who ransacked public property.
Founder President of Punjab Youth Clubs Organisations and committee member Joginder Singh Jogi said that cancellation of cases against protestors, who burnt properties of innocent people, would encourage them for doing it again and convey a signal from the State Government that it was favouring the violence.
He said if the State Government does not pay heed to their demands they would be forced to launch an intense agitation.
Badal told a sect delegation yesterday that he had constituted a committee headed by Regional Commissioner S R Ladhar and Inspector General of Police (Zonal) Sanjeev Kalra to review the cases against the Dalit protrestors.
Meanwhile, General Samaj Manch Punjab headed by Fateh Singh and General Secretary Girish Sharma pledged to actively work for the strengthening of communal harmony and maintaining peace. An unanimous resolution presented by Dr Satnam Singh Parmar, urged the Government to firmly book the miscreants responsible for arson and damaging property causing losses of Crores of Rupees. The meeting expressed condolence on the death of Swami Rama Nand Ji and paid tributes to the departed soul. General Samaj Manch Punjab threatened to launch a state wide stir, if the cases registered against the miscreants belonging to one community could be withdrawn. GSM demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits
Punjab fears another bout of violence on cremation day of Sant Rama Nand
"Dead body expected to reach from Vienna by June 4,2009"
JALANDHAR: Having already faced a fragile law and order situation in Punjab, the Punjab Police and the civil administration were leaving nothing to chance and were treading extremely cautiously while, gearing up for the cremation of Sant Rama Nand of Dera Sach Khand on Thursday, May 4.
A huge crowd of over 1.5 lakh to two lakh people was expected to descend at the Ballan village baed dera to pay their tributes to the deceased spiritual leader.
The Punjab government has already set-up a helipad on the dera outskirts so as to facilitate direct shifting of the body of Sant Rama Nand from New Delhi to the dera for cremation in its bid to avoid any further eruption of tension in the area. “We have got fully geared ourselves up for any situation though, we are treading with all possible precautions and restraints. The routes for the movement of crowd of dera followers have been earmarked so as to ward-off any last minute fuss,” said the Jalandhar Zone IG Sanjiv Kalra who, was the member of the two member probe panel, constituted by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to investigate the incidents of violence in Doaba and other areas of Punjab in the aftermath of the death of Sant Rama Nand in Vienna. The other member of the panel was the Jalandhar Division Commissioner S.R. Ladhar. Kalra himself was injured in the attack mounted by violent mobs and was recuperating at his place.
The dead body of Sant Rama Nand was likely to be flown in by Sant Niranjan Dass, who, had sustained injuries in the Vienna attack on either Wednesday or Friday even as, the authorities were apprehending some slight further delay in arrival of the body at New Delhi. In his report to the Punjab government, a senior officer has estimated that between 1.5 lakh to two lakh dera followers were likely to converge at the dera on the cremation day while, certain quarters have apprehended that trouble could brew up once again in case, the police and civil administration, who, were apparently prepared to tackle any situation, displayed any laxity as was allegedly in case of incidents of violence erupted in Doaba region and rest of Punjab on May 23. They were however, expecting that violence might not simmer once again as the tempers of dera followers have already got cooled down particularly, after senior dera leader Sant Surinder Bawa and Sant Niranjan Dass have already issued repeated appeals for maintenance of peace and communal harmony in Punjab.
Most members of Dalit sect don't follow Sikh tenets
27 May 2009, 0130 hrs IST
Was the fight inside a Sikh gurdwara?
The fight was inside a Guru Ravidass temple in Vienna and not a Sikh gurdwara. Although Ravidass temples house Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, their identity lies in the Ravidassia ideology, and with followers of Guru Ravidass, a Dalit saint of the 14th century Bhakti movement of India.
How are Ravidassias and Sikhs different?
While Ravidassias bow before Guru Granth Sahib, they are not necessarily Sikhs. Most members of the community do not follow Sikh tenets. They are a separate entity and most of them are Hindu SCs and clean shaven. Sikhs and Ravidassias, however, share some part of their religious philosophy with Sikhs treating the ‘bani’ (words) of Guru Ravidass with the same reverence as the rest of Sikh gurus.
What’s Dera Sachkhand Ballan?
It’s nearly a century old dera founded by Baba Pippal Dass who was from Ravidassia community. The dera preached philosophy of Guru Ravidass and principles from Guru Granth Sahib. It’s the biggest dera of the community.
How are the main Ravidassia and Sikh rituals different?
The respect and rendition of Guru Granth Sahib is common to both and even a good part of the ‘Ardaas’. But some of the rituals differ. In kirtans at Ravidass temples, the emphasis is mainly on compositions by Ravidass.
Why are Dalit deras growing?
Sikh Gurus criticized the caste system. In the 18th century, caste reared its head again in Punjab, influencing Sikhs. The latest conflict is an indication of Dalit awakening, aided to a large extent by increasing money power.
with thanks : source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Most-members-of-Dalit-sect-dont-follow-Sikh-tenets/articleshow/4581887.cms
Rise and rise of Dalit deras in Punjab
27 May 2009, 0127 hrs IST, I P Singh, TNN
JALANDHAR: Along with their growing influence in the political arena, Dalits in Punjab are increasingly marking their presence in the state’s religio-cultural sphere.
This is manifest in the surfacing of exclusive Dalit deras or sects. Their rise, however, has been triggered largely by Ravidassias, who have taken a lead over other big ‘‘backward’’ groups like Valmikis and Mazhabis through sheer money power.
Although Dalits also visit deras frequented by others, there are at least 60 sects boasting of large following. More than half of these are located in the four districts of Doaba, considered the heartland of Adharmis — those Sikhs who joined Ravidassias. At least 40% of Doaba’s population comprises Adharmis.
Formed in the early 1970s as an umbrella body of different sects, the Sadhu Sampradai Society has religious heads of Ravidassia community officiating at the top echelons. The society organises various religious functions, whose frequency has increased in the recent past. Currently, the society is headed by Sant Nirmal Dass Jaure Wale. Dera Sachkhand Ballan has a major stake in the working of this society due to its sheer size and following.
"There are over 60 deras in Punjab that have exclusive Ravidassia identity," said S R Heer, the general secretary of Sant Sarwan Dass Charitable Trust run by the Ballan-based sect. Dalit activist and BSP leader Ramesh Kaul said if the small deras are included, the number could well touch 100. These sects preach the word and philosophy of Guru Ravidas, a prominent figure in the Bhakti movement that flourished in the 14 and 15th centuries.
"Although these deras preach sermons from Sikh holy book, equal emphasis is laid on extracts written by Guru Ravidas that are included in Guru Granth Sahib," adds Kaul. Apart from carrying out religious discourses, deras of Adharmi also follow a social agenda of emancipation of the downtrodden.
with thanks : source : www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com
• Mobs attacks police stations, buses and banks in Punjab region
• India's Sikh prime minister 'deeply distressed' by disturbances
guardian.co.uk, Monday 25 May 2009 17.10 BST
India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, appealed for calm , as riots prompted by the fatal shooting of a sect leader at a Sikh temple in Austria spread to several northern Indian cities.
Hundreds of people defied a curfew and army patrols, attacking police stations and torching the car of a senior officer and several trains. In two places, police opened fire on mobs, wounding at least four people, according to officials.
The violence centered on the city of Jalandhar, a stronghold of the Dera Sach Khand, a Sikh sect comprising mainly Dalits (formerly known as "Untouchables"). One person was killed when troops opened fire on a mob attacking a police station in Lambran village, according the state's top elected official, Parkash Singh Badal.
The violence followed the news that a leader of the Dera Sach Khand was killed, and another preacher wounded, in Vienna last night, when several Sikh men armed with knives and a handgun attacked the two during a visit to a temple. At least 15 other people were wounded, Austrian police confirmed.
Witnesses said the attackers were fundamentalist Sikhs from a higher caste, who accused one or both of the preachers of being disrespectful of the Sikh holy book – the Guru Grant Sahib.
While officially Sikhism does not recognise caste – the complex system prevalent among mainly Hindus in India, dividing people into hundreds of groups defined by livelihood, class and ethnicity – it remains deeply rooted.
Singh, India's first leader to belong to the Sikh faith, said he was "deeply distressed" by the attack and subsequent violence. "Whatever the provocation, it is important to maintain peace and harmony among different sections of the people," he said, adding: "Sikhism preaches tolerance and harmony."
The foreign minister, SM Krishna, said India was working with the Austrian authorities to "ensure that the perpetrators of this completely mindless and wanton attack are brought to justice".
lastnight, after news of the Vienna attack, hundreds of Dera Sach Khand followers, supported by other local Dalit organisations, took to the streets of Jalandhar, burning several vehicles and a bank, stoning buses and blocking railway lines and roads.
Sporadic violence was also reported from several nearby towns, said Sanjiv Kalra, a senior police official at Jalandhar, some 210 miles (337 km) north-west of New Delhi. Today morning, about 400 soldiers patrolled the area and police set up roadblocks across the city. Initially it appeared that the move had restored calm, but later protests spread to at least five nearby cities.
"Curfew in the entire district has been extended for an indefinite period and five columns of army have been deployed to control the violence," a local government official, A S Pannu told the Press Trust of India news agency.Sikhs make up less than 2% of India's nearly 1.2 billion people, the vast majority of whom are Hindus. Caste discrimination has been outlawed in India for more than a half century, and a quota system was established with the aim of giving Dalits a fair share of government jobs and places in schools. But their plight remains dire, living in poverty and kept down by ancient prejudice and caste-based politics.
with thanks : Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/25/india-sikh-riots-killing-austria
Punjab tense after night of violence, army called in
Towns in Punjab remained tense on Monday morning after a night of violence on Sunday by members of a Dalit Sikh sect protesting a clash in a gurudwara in Austria's capital Vienna.
District authorities in Jalandhar, which saw the maximum violence, requisitioned the army and the Border Security Force (BSF) late on Sunday night even as the Punjab Police was out on the streets in full force to control the rampaging mobs belonging to the Sachh Khand sect, followers of Guru Ravi Dass Sabha.
The entire Doaba belt (the area between rivers Sutlej and Beas) comprising Jalandhar, Phagwara, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur towns were tense throughout the night. Jalandhar and Phagwara were the worst hit areas. Unrest was also reported from the industrial city of Ludhiana, 60 km from Jalandhar.
Although no one was injured in the clashes, scores of public and private vehicles were set ablaze by the protestors in Jalandhar and Phagwara. A State Bank of India ATM was also set ablaze in Jalandhar.
Many people were stranded on the roads after the violence broke out.
On Sunday, several people were injured in a fight between two rival factions of the Sikh community at a Gurudwara in the Austrian capital. Some of the injured were in a critical condition, the Austrian police said.
The incident took place during a sermon by two guest priests from India.
According to reports, several bearded and turbaned men equipped with at least one firearm stormed the shrine during sermon. In the melee, members of the congregation pounced upon the attackers and overpowered them, beating some severely.
Meanwhile, the security has been beefed up in several parts of Punjab after the protestors went on a rampage.
Curfew has been imposed in Jalandhar, which continued on Monday morning, even though the police claimed the situation was brought under control.
"The situation turned bad and we have requisitioned the army, BSF and the Punjab Armed Police units to control the situation," said Sanjiv Kalra, inspector general of police (IG), Jalandhar range.
The protestors also clashed with the police at some places in Jalandhar. The protestors blocked roads and highways around Jalandhar and in the nearby industrial town of Phagwara.
"It is a very serious situation. Curfew has been imposed in Jalandhar City following the violence. Road and rail traffic has been affected," Kalra told IANS.
Railway traffic through Jalandhar, including the New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi train, was affected as protestors blocked rail tracks.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal condemned the Vienna incident and urged people in Punjab to remain peaceful. He urged the central government to take up the matter with the Austrian government so that the guilty were punished.
The government blacked out the television news channels in the state to ensure that the violence did not spread to other parts after seeing the images on TV.
Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar also condemned the Vienna attack and urged people to maintain peace in Punjab.
with thanks : source : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=43628§ionid=4&secid=0&Itemid=1&issueid=107