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The main accused of organising a protest and vandalising the holy Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in the Punjab province in Pakistan has been arrested and charged under a non-bailable section of the anti-terrorism act, a top official said on Monday.
Azhar Mashwani, an aide to Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, shared the news in a tweet. “The main culprit in #NankanaSahib incident Imran has been arrested. FIR # 6/2020 u/s 295A/290/291/341/506/148/ 149, 6 sound system /7ATA has been registered at Nanakan Police Station,” he tweeted with a picture of the accused behind bars.
The main accused, Imran Chishti had led the mob at the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, pelted stoned and shouted anti-Sikh slogans outside the Gurdwara on Friday, January 3.
Nankana Sahib, also known as Gurdwara Janam Asthan is the birth palace of the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak and is named after him.
The main culprit in #NankanaSahib incident Imran has been arrested
FIR # 6/2020 u/s 295A/290/291/341/506/148/ 149, 6 sound system /7ATA has been registered at Nanakan Police Station pic.twitter.com/v1LYzO7ACI
— Azhar (@MashwaniAzhar) January 5, 2020
He further stated that “7 ATA is a non-bailable section under the Anti-Terrorism Act.” The arrest comes after the Pakistan Police was bashed for inaction against Chishti who also released an apology video on the attacks and the Anti-Sikh remarks.
India strongly condemned the incident and called upon the Pakistan government to take swift action to ensure the safety and security of the Sikh community. The incident was also condemned by politicians across parties and termed the act as “cowardly” and “shameful”.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi called the incident “reprehensible”, while Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) responsible for the management of gurdwaras in India said it would send a four-member delegation to Pakistan to take stock of the situation urging the Pakistan government to take stringent action against the perpetrators
In a series of tweets, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday condemned the incident while comparing it with the recent ongoing attacks on minorities in India.
“The major difference between the condemnable Nankana incident & the ongoing attacks across India on Muslims & other minorities is this: the former is against my vision & will find zero tolerance & protection from the govt incl police & judiciary,” tweeted Khan.
In contrast, Modi's RSS vision supports minorities oppression & the targeted attacks against Muslims are part of this agenda. RSS goons conducting public lynchings, Muslims being violated by mobs are all not only supported by Modi Govt but Indian police leads anti-Muslim attacks
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 5, 2020
However, Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Friday rejected the media reports that the holy shrine was desecrated in a mob attack, saying that Gurdwara Nankana Sahib remains “untouched and undamaged” and the “claims of destruction” are “false”.
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