Bhatinda: Rejecting a plea of Punjab Police to withdraw FIR against the controversial spiritual leader Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in connection with a case of offending the religious sentiments of the Sikh community, a Bhatinda court has asked him to appear before it on May 10.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Harjeet Singh also ordered the prosecution to file a list of witnesses in the case within 15 days. The FIR was registered on the complaint of Rajinder Singh Sidhu, president of the Khalsa Diwan Gurdwara Singh Sabha, in May 2007.

Speaking about the court’s order on Monday, the complainant's counsel J R Khatter said, “Rejecting the police's petition, the court fixed May 10 for further hearing in the case.”

Punjab Police's plea to withdraw an FIR against Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh registered on a complaint of the head of a religious outfit.

In the complaint, Sidhu had referred to publication of an advertisement in some newspapers showing the Dera chief attired in robes similar to the one worn by Sikh Guru Sri Gobind Singh which had hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.

The police had produced an affidavit of Rajinder Singh and statements of some persons requesting cancellation of the FIR. The complainant had denied having signed an affidavit of this nature.