Politics behind pardon reversal: Dera Sacha Sauda chiefhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/politics-behind-pardon-reversal-dera-sacha-sauda-chief/

Politics behind pardon reversal: Dera Sacha Sauda chief

A video CD produced as part of pardon had suggested that he made the apology during a religious congregation and that those words were exactly reproduced in a letter accepted by the Akal Takht last month.

A day after the Akal Takht revoked its decision to pardon him, the Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim on Saturday blamed politics for the reversal, “I signed on what they had sent in writing. I do not know why this has happened. It is not in the character of religion to revert from what is said. It does not happen in religion. It has happened for the first time in my life at least,” the dera head said in a media statement.

The Akal Takht had earlier said he had apologised on his own. A video CD produced as part of pardon had suggested that he made the apology during a religious congregation and that those words were exactly reproduced in a letter accepted by the Akal Takht last month.

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With the wheel having turned full circle in three weeks, Ram Rahim suggested the decision was linked to the success of his second movie MSG-2. “There may be politics behind the reversal. MSG-2 was getting good response in Punjab from the followers of all religions and even announcements were made from religious places to go and watch the movie,” he said. “Religion is not barred from politics. But it is bad when religion is used in politics,” Ram Rahim added.

“Last month’s decision was applauded by Sikh scholars and they had welcomed it. Sikh scholars had also gave a call to accept it. But many now people, who do not want love and harmony to prevail in society, have been forcing this reversal,” the Dera head said.

During the all too brief 23 days for which the pardon last, Ram Rahim had asked his followers to withdraw cases filed against Sikhs over the years. “We will stand by our words. We had asked our followers to take back cases filed against Sikhs. We will not go back. We want to spread peace and harmony,” Rahim said on Saturday.