Indian Sikhs protest in front of Pak High Commissioner in Delhi against attack on Nankana Sahib
Indian Sikhs protest in front of Pak High Commissioner in Delhi against attack on Nankana Sahib
Photo by AFP

New Delhi: After the attack on the Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in Punjab province of Pakistan triggered protests in Delhi and in many places in Punjab and other states, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued an official statement condemning the attacks.

"India strongly condemns targeted killing of minority Sikh community member in Peshawar (Pakistan) that follows recent despicable vandalism & desecration of Gurdwara Sri Janam Asthan at Nankana Sahib & unresolved case of abduction,forced conversion&marriage of a Sikh girl," the statement said.

"India calls upon the Government of Pakistan to stop prevaricating & take immediate action to apprehend & give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of these heinous acts," MEA added.

Scores of protesters surrounded the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan's Punjab province, threatening to overrun the Sikh holy site if their demands for the release of suspects in an alleged forced conversion case were not met, it was reported.

The Pakistan police had arrived at the protests site to control the situation but the protestors refused to move an inch for hours.

However, the protesters dispersed only after several hours on Friday evening following successful negotiations with government representatives, which led to the release of the arrested persons, reports Dawn news.

The protest was led by the family of a man, Ehsan, who was accused of forcibly converting a Sikh girl, Jagjit Kaur, earlier this year.

On August 28, 2019, an FIR was filed in the Nankana police station against six people who were accused of abducting and forcefully converting the 19-year-old.

The police subsequently traced the suspects to Lahore and detained one of them. Later, the woman had submitted a written statement in the court, stating that she had converted to Islam and married Ehsan of her own free will. She also accused her family of "wanting to kill me".

On Friday, Ehsan's family alleged that police had raided their home and detained several family members, including Ehsan, ahead of the next court hearing scheduled for January 9.

District Police Officer of Nankana Sahib, Ismail Kharak, said that the suspects were arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by a citizen regarding a dispute. He did not, however, comment on the family's allegations.

Earlier, media reports stated that the protests at the revered Gurudwara had led to vandalism.

However, Pakistan rejected the media reports that the historic Gurdwara Nanakana Sahib in Lahore was desecrated in a mob attack, saying the birthplace of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak remains "untouched and undamaged" and the "claims of destruction" of one of the holiest Sikh shrines are "false".

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal