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May 28,2007
India's Sikhs win apology from sect
by UPI

AMRITSAR, India - India's Sikhs, offended by an advertisement they felt blasphemed their revered guru,have won an apology from a religious sect that issued the piece.

The controversy, which led to clashes between Sikhs and members of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect in Punjab and neighboring Haryana state, resulted from an advertisement in which the sect's leader was accused of being dressed like Guru Gobind Singh, one of the Sikh religion's most revered leaders.

The growing tensions had raised concerns in the country that they might lead to a revival of the demand for a separate Sikh homeland. The issue caused much bloodshed in the 1980s and 1990s before peace was restored.

In the apology, the Dera Sacha Sauda sect's office said its "guru says it's unimaginable for him to imitate Guru Gobind Singh," the BBC reported Monday, quoting local reports. The sect also described the Sikh guru as "the true guardian of spirituality."

The sect, which claims millions of members, asserts it treats all religions as one and that its mission is social work.

The Press Trust of India reported top Sikh clerics were to meet Tuesday in their holy city of Amritsar in Punjab to consider the sect's apology.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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