India condemned the vandalism carried out at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan on Friday after reports emerged that hundreds of locals pelted stones at the gurdwara and surrounded it, leaving several Sikh devotees stranded.
The Ministry of External Affairs also asked the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security and welfare of the members of the Sikh community.
“We are concerned at the vandalism carried out at the revered Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan today. Members of the minority Sikh community have been subjected to acts of violence in the holy city of Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji,” the MEA said.
The locals were apparently protesting against the Sikh community’s opposition to the alleged forcible conversion of a Sikh girl to Islam and her marriage to a Muslim boy. The protesters were led by the family of a man who was accused of forcibly converting the Sikh woman and demanded the release of suspects, Dawn reported.
“These reprehensible actions followed the forcible abduction and conversion of Jagjit Kaur, the Sikh girl who was kidnapped from her home in the city of Nankana Sahib in August last year,” the MEA said.
Condemning “these wanton acts of destruction and desecration of the holy place”, India asked the Pakistan government to take strong action against the miscreants.
“India strongly condemns these wanton acts of destruction and desecration of the holy place. We call upon the Government of Pakistan to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of the members of the Sikh community,” the MEA stated.
“Strong action must be taken against miscreants who indulged in the desecration of the holy Gurudwara and attacked members of minority Sikh community. In addition, Govt of Pakistan is enjoined to take all measures to protect and preserve the sanctity of the holy Nankana Sahib Gurudwara,” the MEA further said.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Friday appealed to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to “immediately intervene” and rescue stranded Sikh devotees.
“Appeal to 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,” Amarinder Singh tweeted.-IE