The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
On Punjab Events
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses its deep concern at the developments in Punjab. The sequence of events following the controversial act by the chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda has led to an escalation of tensions and clashes between the followers of Sikh religious organisations and the Dera Sacha Sauda.
It is unfortunate that the Akal Takht and the five high priests gave a call for a state wide bandh on May 22 and an ultimatum to the state government to seal all assets of the Dera by May 27. This type of intervention by religious organisations in the public and political spheres have dangerous implications. One has to only recall the past history of violence and terrorist activities which were unleashed in Punjab in the 1980s.
Already certain actions of the Dera Sacha Sauda have come under the purview of the law and these cases must be pursued.
The Akali Dal-BJP government in Punjab cannot take a soft attitude to this growing intervention of the religious bodies and the fanning of extremist passions. It must firmly discharge its constitutional obligations to maintain peace and protect the rights of all communities.
The Polit Bureau appeals to all sections of the people of Punjab to rebuff the extremists on both sides who are bent upon sowing discord and ensure that peace and communal amity is maintained.