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Grewal Saga Continues
By MANJIT SINGH SAHOTA
Sher-e-Panjab (Yahoo! Groups, U.K.), Toronto, Jun. 26, 2003
"According to his own statement in front on the panj payaras [the five beloved, authorized to take decisions in Sikhism], Narinder Singh Grewal is not a Sikh."
"On Jun. 14, the Toronto area sangat [community] packed Mississauga's Ontario Khalsa Darbar, also known as Dixie Road Gurdwara, to hear what Grewal had to say about charges of anti-Sikh preaching. Although Grewal did not made an appearance, the sangat watched a video of him and his followers. The video was shot by one of his followers by piecing together several of his sermons at various locations. The video depicts Grewal using abusive language and making incendiary remarks about the Gurus and the Guru Granth Sahib [the Sikh holy book]. Grewal also claims 'Gurudom' and that he is the next Guru after the Guru Granth Sahib."
"According to Manjit Singh Sahota, a community activist in the area, Grewal had 60 to 70 followers who were amrit-dhari [orthodox] in appearance. Grewal, himself, adorns a long beard and a turban. Toronto's Punjabi media had kept a close watch on Grewal for several weeks prior to the Jun. 14 meeting. Editorials in several papers and a transcription of the videotape in Sanjh Savera, a Punjabi weekly, kept up the pressure on Grewal. According to Sahota, specific remarks about Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh were too perverse to be published. After viewing the video, the sangat decided to remove the Guru Granth Sahib from his dera (home and temple complex) immediately. By that evening, a group of Sikhs arrived at Grewal's dera and brought the Guru Granth Sahib and gutkas [prayer books] out of the premises and transported them to a gurdwara [Sikh place of worship] in the Toronto area."
"The Toronto Star newspaper reported that police responded in force to a report of a disturbance involving more than 100 people at Grewal's residence. The Ontario Provincial Police [O.P.P.] said ten police cars responded to the call shortly after 7 p.m. An eye-witness reported that officers ran toward the house with guns drawn, while others closed the highway to traffic. Sahota, who was also present at the dera, said fighting broke out with Grewal's followers but no one was injured. Two Sikhs were arrested by the police and later released. Police also took I.D. information from all who were on the premises. No charges were filed."
"Emotions were running high in Toronto's Sikh community. Grewal received many death threats, especially after the video tape was made public. On Jun. 18, a meeting was held between Sikh representatives, Peel Region Police, Ontario Provincial Police and Grewal at the O.P.P. station in Caledon, Ontario. A resolution was agreed upon."
"In a written and signed statement, Grewal acknowledged that he had been running his own style of religious congregation in which he used references to the Sikh Gurus, Sikh scriptures and the basics of the Sikh religion. He agreed to meet before the panj payaras at the gurdwara to seek forgiveness and apologize to the community on video. Grewal also agreed 'not to preach or to use any references to Sikh Gurus, Sikh religion, and Sikh scriptures until a final decision on this issue is made by the Akal Takht.' He also agreed to stop preaching through his website, the Internet and e-mail groups. Grewal's website is now off-line and his activities on the Internet have ceased."
"On Jun. 20, Grewal appeared before the panj payaras and the Sikh sangat at the Oakville gurdwara to repent for his misdeeds. With him was a police officer who accompanied him for his own protection. Grewal did not give satisfactory answers to the questions asked by the panj payaras. He kept apologizing but did not give details of his wrongdoings. Grewal also denied that he was a Singh [Sikh]. Therefore, the panj payaras and the sangat did not pardon him."
"The panj payaras and the sangat have made an appeal that until a decision is received from the Akal Takht, no communication or relationship should be kept with Grewal and that those who ignore this appeal should also be boycotted. As Toronto's sangat awaits a decision from the Akal Takht, Sikh lawyers in the area are expected to pursue legal action against Grewal. Grewal could be charged under Canada's religious hate crimes laws for his slanderous preaching. Grewal could also be charged for polygamy. He is alleged to have married a young woman, the spouse of one of his followers, without divorcing his first wife."
"Grewal's followers have left him. They have been requested to appear before the panj payaras to answer questions about their activities and to ask for forgiveness."
Claims of 'Guru' Enrage Sikhs, By RAJU MUDHAR, The Toronto Star, Jun. 18, 2003
Violent Reaction to Grewal's Remarks, By RAJU MUDHAR, The Toronto Star, Jun. 16, 2003
Violent Reaction to Grewal's Activities, By RAJU MUDHAR and MARY NERSESSIAN, The Toronto Star, Jun. 15, 2003