India Condemns Act Of Vandalism At Pakistan's Gurdwara Nankana Sahib After A Violent Mob Pelted Stones At The Holy Site
India strongly condemned the vandalism and violence at Pakistan’s Gurdwara Nankana Sahib on January 3. A violent Muslim mob pelted stones from a nearby area towards the gurdwara after a clash broke out over the alleged abduction and conversion of a Sikh girl, who was allegedly kidnapped from her residence in Nankana Sahib.
On Friday evening, several protesters staged a protest outside the gurdwara led by the family of a man, Ehsan, who was accused of forcibly converting a Sikh woman, Jagjit Kaur, early in 2019.
Strongly condemn the attack on Gurdwara In Nankana Sab.
Adan Farhaj Bakhsh ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಶುಕ್ರವಾರ, ಜನವರಿ 3, 2020
On August 28, a FIR was filed in the Nankana police station against six people who were accused of abducting and forcefully converting the 19-year-old.
Later, the woman had submitted a written statement in the court, stating that she had converted to Islam and married Ehsan on her own will. She also accused her family of “wanting to kill me”.
The woman was shifted to a shelter on the court’s orders, after the Sikh community had demanded that the police should bring her back to her parents’ house irrespective of the conversion being forced or consensual.
On Friday, Ehsan’s family alleged that police had raided their home and arrested several family members, including Ehsan, ahead of the next court hearing on January 9.
“Today, police personnel raided our home and arrested my brother and relatives after torturing them,” Ehsan’s sister told the media.
Ehsan’s family also alleged that the police were trying to pressurize them ahead of the court hearing.
On January 3, several protesters surrounded the gurdwara threatening to overrun the holy site if their demands for the release of suspects in a forced conversion case were not met.
— Shiraz Hassan (@ShirazHassan) January 3, 2020
However, the protesters disperse several hours later, following negotiations between them and government representatives, which led to the release of the arrested persons.
India Condemns The Attack
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs called the Government of Pakistan to ensure protection of the gurdwara, which was targeted by a mob in the afternoon of January 3.
“We call upon the Government of Pakistan to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security, and welcome of the members of the Sikh community. Strong action must be taken against the miscreants who indulged in disecration of the holy Gurdwara and attacked members of the minority Sikh community,” a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs read.
The matter drew attention of Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh who appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure safety of the gurdwara.
“I appeal to Prime Minister Imran Khan to immediately intervene to ensure that the devotees stranded in Gurdwara Nankana Sahib are rescued and the historic Gurdwara is saved from the angry mob surrounding it,” the CM said.
Protests In India
The attack on the Nankana Sahib Gurdwara has triggered protests from the Sikh community in India.
Several Sikh groups were to protest outside Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi on Saturday to condemn the attack.
Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise the issue with his counterpart in Islamabad, Imran Khan since Sikh minorities in the country were feeling extremely unsafe and insecure.
“Attempts to paint this incident as a communal issue are patently motivated. Most importantly, the Gurdwara remains untouched and undamaged. All insinuations to the contrary, particularly the claims of acts of ‘desecration and destruction’ and desecration of the holy place, are not only false but also mischievous,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in statement.