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Dera preacher out of danger; Badal convenes meet

Source: PTI
May 26, 2009 12:30 IST
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Dera Sachkhand Ballan preacher Sant Niranjan Dass, who was attacked in Vienna on Sunday, is out of danger, sect in-charge Sant Surinder Dass Bawa said.

The 66-year-old preacher was recovering fast, he said. Bawa appealed to protesters to shun the path of agitation and pray for speedy recovery of the injured Dera head after a clash between rival Sikh communities in a Vienna Gurudwara leading to the death of one of their gurus, Sant Rama Nand, triggered large scale violence and arson in Punjab.

"It's our duty to maintain peace and communal harmony. The agitation must end immediately," he said at a meeting of local peace committee in Jalandhar on Monday.

Representatives of various political and social organisations condemned the Vienna incident at the peace committee meeting.

Punjab CM convenes all-party meet
Leaders of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance and the opposition attended an all party meeting convened by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday to focus on restoring peace in the state shattered in the wake of the killing of a sect head in Vienna.

Besides the leaders of the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress the meeting was being attended by representatives of the CPI, the CPM and the BSP.

The all party meeting commenced with Badal leading those present in observing two minute silence as a mark of respect to Sant  Ramanand who died following the murderous attack.

The chief minister then moved a resolution for safeguarding what he described as the hard earned atmosphere of peace in Punjab. The resolution proposed exemplary punishment to those guilty for the incident at Vienna resulting in widespread violence and arson in the state.

The rift within the Sikh community is a result of upper caste objecting to the followers of the Dera mostly belonging to the backward classes paying obeisance to their spiritual head in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahab. The incident in Vienna was also stated to be a result of the Dera's top leadership giving sermons in the Gurdwara there in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahab.

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