Hundereds of protesting Sikhs gather at Gurdwara Miri-Piri in Southall, London
Southall, London, UK (KP) – Cronies of ex-communicated heretic Ragi Darshan were dealt another blow when Britian’s Sikh community demonstrated their Panthic resolve by forcing the cancellation of Ragi’s first program in UK since his banishment by the Sikh Religion.
After landing in the UK, news quickly spread that the controversial Ragi was scheduled to appear at Gurdwara Miri Piri Sahib, a small private Gurdwara in the Southall, London. Panthic organizations also learnt that there were plans by Jaswant Singh Thekedar and other preventatives of Dal Khalsa UK to possibly honor the heretic Ragi for his past anti-Panthic activities.
Panthic Organizations Unite in Protest
Panthic organizations such as the Sikh Federation UK, Damdami Taksal and independent Nihang Dals quickly alerted the concerned sangat across Britain to join them at Gurdwara Miri Piri in Southall to protest the visit of a controversial personality who was bound to spread hateful propaganda against Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Sri Akal Takht Sahib across the UK.
Before evening, three to four hundred Sikhs had arrived at the venue. In the forefront was a dark effigy of the Ragi with a placard stating “I am the Panth.” This was in reference to the Ragi’s disdainful rants that he did not recognize Sri Akal Takht Sahib or the Takht leadership, and that Sri Akal Takht Sahib did not have the authority to ex-communicate him. Yet, obnoxiously, he addresses himself as “Singh Sahib” and “ex-Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib.”
Outside view of privately owned Gurdwara Miri-Piri, Southall (file photo)
Inside of Gurdwara Miri-Piri - Scattered and confused congregation
Worried about a possible protest, the organizers had turned the Gurdwara into small fortress with a hundreds of police officers manning the premises. Additionally, the organizers had also brought local hoodlums and armed them with wooden staffs and swords – in hopes of intimidating the protesting Sangat.
Besides a handful of individuals, no one from the protesting Sangat was allowed to enter the Gurdwara premises. The Sangat had demanded that they be allowed inside the Gurdwara and also raised slogans against Ragi Darshan and the Gurdwara management. The standoff continued for several hours.
The situation become tense and came to a boiling point when the hired hoodlums inside countered the Sangat with abusive insults and foul language and challenged them to come inside.
Naastic-Brigade: Some of heretic Ragi supporters who were shouting obscenities to the Sangat Notice, not a single one of them is 'sabat-surat'
The protesting Singhs accepted the challenge of the anti-Panthic hoodlums and quickly advanced towards the Gurdwara’s front gates, and the rest of the Sangat also joined in from behind. By this time riot Police, with canine units, and reinforcement from other London boroughs had also arrived and tacitly situated themselves between the protesting Sangat and anti-Panthic hoodlums. The entire commercial block of the ‘The Broadway’ had now been shutdown for fear of violence.
Reportedly small scuffles did break out and several objects were thrown back and forth causing some minor injuries to a handful of the protestors and some onlookers.
Organizers Request Police Mediation
With the ranks of the Sangat swelling into the hundreds, and fearing the inevitable, the Ragi’s cronies quickly retreated back into the main building. The management then asked the Police if the protestors would be willing to leave the premises if they cancelled Ragi’s planned visit.
The law enforcement officials put forward the management’s offer to the protestors. With Police mediation, the Sangat agreed to leave the premises but only after assurances from the management that they would not allow the Ragi to hold a program at that venue. Fearing the standoff situation could deteriorate at any time, they organizers anxiously agreed to abide to the Sangat’s demands and cancelled the entire anti-Panthic function.
Upon hearing their demands had been met, and Panthic Maryada upheld, jaikaras of "ਬੋਲੇ ਸੋ ਨਿਹਾਲ" and slogans of "ਖਾਲਿਸਤਾਨ ਜ਼ਿੰਦਾਬਾਦ" were heard in a continuous-thunderous roar before the Sangat left the premises.
Fearing further backlash and embarrassment, several of Ragi’s proposed European programs, including one in Norway have also been reportedly cancelled.
Dubious Role of various UK Organizations
While much of the blame for the Southall debacle falls on the questionable characters such as Jaswant Singh Thekedar and Manmohan Singh of Dal Khalsa UK, the president of their Indian based operation wing, Satnam Singh Paonta fall in the same rank. Not too long ago, in an action defiance, Paonta openly expressed solidarity with Ragi and even shared meals with the ex-communicated heretic, in direct violation of the Sri Akal Takht Sahib’s edicts. These actions have raised serious doubts about Dal Khalsa Panthic commitment loyalty.
Dal Khalsa's Manmohan Singh with heretic Ragi
Dal Khalsa's Satnam Paonta associating heretic Ragi
While representatives of various Panthic organizations, Sikh Federation, Damdami Taksal, Nihang Singh groups all have joined the effort to counter the ex-communicated Ragi’s tour in the UK, interestingly AKJ-UK representatives were suspiciously absent from the entire scene.
Although, representatives of Akhand Kirtani Jatha in India, Canada, and the United States have been working in the forefront with other Panthic organizations to counter the anti-Panthic Kala-Afghani propaganda for the last decade, the UK Jatha’s silence raises serious questions about their commitment and their dubious role in the entire Sri Dasam Granth controversy.
Many wonder whether the UK Jatha will follow Dal Khalsa's lead or join the Panthic organizations in condemnation of the heretics' blasphemous activities.
Sikh Federation UK representatives, including Amrik Singh Gill, Kuldeep Singh Cheheru, Dabinderjit Singh who had also joined the Southall protest, requested the community to uphold Sri Akal Takht Sahib’s HukamNamas and not allow the Ragi to misuse the platform or stage at any Gurdwara Sahib.
The controversial Ragi was ex-communicated from the Khalsa Panth on January 29th, 2010 after failing to appear at Sri Akal Takh Sahib and explaining his blasphemous statements made on video against Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji in reference to Sri Dasam Granth Sahib.
(Images and eye witness accounts courtesy of UK sewadars, including Akash Radio's Sukhvinder Singh)
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