Charanjit Singh Teja, Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, May 8. Followers of the Namdhari sect loyal to Thakur Dalip Singh plan to intensify their fight with their “opponents” at Bhaini Sahib, the sect’s headquarters.
The group announced at a press conference today that it would hold a peaceful protest at Katani Morh, 2 km from Bhaini Sahib, on May 15 under the banner of the International Namdhari Sangat.
The protest has the potential of turning into a group clash. Navtej Singh, president of the International Namdhari Sangat, said: “It has become necessary to hold such protests to unite the sect.” He alleged that the group led by Thakur Uday Singh had begun to selectively deny entry to devotees associated with the International Namdhari Sangat.
“It has been a tradition with the devotees to fetch holy water from traditional wells, which exist at Bhaini Sahib. The water is kept in a pot during Akhand Path. “Recently, a resident of Jalandhar, who is a supporter of Thakur Dalip Singh, was denied permission for the same. The devotees have no option but to stage a protest.” Navtej Singh said the protesters would recite hymns.
“Mata Chand Kaur, Thakur Uday Singh and Sant Jagtar Singh should listen to our grievances to keep the sect united.” When contacted, Surinder Singh, Bhaini Sahib manager, refuted the allegations. “The International Namdhari Sangat, comprising a handful of people with no mass base, is defaming us,” he said, adding that all members of the sect should abide by the decisions of Mata Chand Kaur.