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TIMELINE: Attack on Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib, Pakistan

Written by  Rajan Nath -- January 08th 2020 06:08 PM
TIMELINE: Attack on Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib, Pakistan

TIMELINE: Attack on Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib, Pakistan

Attack on Gurdwara Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib in Pakistan: On Friday, January 3, Punjabi community was saddened by an attack by an angry mob that had gathered outside the holy shrine of Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. The mob pelted stones. Meanwhile, several Sikh devotees were stranded inside the shrine as the mob threatened to bring the shrine to the ground. The mob led by Mohammad Hassan - who was one of the of main players in the controversy of abducting and converting a Sikh girl named Jagjit Kaur - was trying to destroy the whole complex. Hassan's videos were surfaced on Internet in which he was threatening the people to turn the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib into a mosque. Also, the mob was raising anti-Sikh slogans, asking all the Sikh devotees to leave Kartapur. While sharing Hassan's video, DSGMC President Manjinder Singh Sirsa condemned his move and urged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to take an action. He wrote: "Hear the video and feel the kind of terror minorities live with in Pakistan. Mohammad Hassan openly threatens to destroy Nankana Sahib Gurdwara and build the mosque in that place Imran Khan is urged to take action against communal trend of hatred." Soon after the issue was raised, the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India released a statement and expressed its concern about the same. While sharing the release, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar wrote: "India strongly condemns vandalism at the holy Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan and calls upon Pakistan to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security and well being of the Sikh community." Likewise, MEA was quoted by ANI as saying, "We are concerned at the vandalism carried out at the revered Nankana Sahib Gurdwara (in Pakistan). 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." Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal took to twitter and wrote: "Mob attack on Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib, birth place of Guru Nanak Dev ji, is a despicable act and I urge PM Narendra Modi ji to take it up with Pak PM Imran Khan. We have to ensure the safety of Sikhs in Pakistan and I trust that the govt will address the issue on priority." In a series of tweets, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal condemned the attack. She wrote, "Persecution of minorities in Pak is a reality. Today’s attack on Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib has shown its horrible face. I want to ask Capt Amarinder Singh and Congress how they can oppose PM Narendra Modi’s noble humanitarian gesture of giving rights to such persecuted minorities!" In another tweet, Harsimrat Kaur Badal wrote, "True face of Pak stands exposed! First Sikh minor girl kidnapped & forcibly married. Now kidnappers attacking victim family & holy shrine Gurdwara #NankanaSahib. I urge PM Narendra Modi ji and Dr S Jaishankar to ensure Pak stops this barbarity & ensure safety of Pak Sikh community." Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh also condemned the attack and said, "I 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." In a video which surfaced on Internet on January 4, Mohammad Hassan was thanking the people and was heard saying that the matter has been resolved and all his relatives had returned safely. However, Azhar Mashwani, the Focal Person (Digital Media) to Punjab Chief Minister took to twitter and said: “The main culprit in Nankana Sahib incident Imran Chisti has been arrested FIR # 6/2020 u/s 295A/290/291/341/506/148/ 149, 6 sound system /7ATA has been registered at Nankana Police Station.” The tweet also carried the picture of the accused behind the bars. Imran Chisti is the elder brother of Mohammad Hassan who forcibly married a teenage Sikh girl in September last year after allegedly abducting and converting her to Islam. Amid tensed situation in Pakistan, a 25-year-old Sikh man was shot dead by unknown gunmen in the northwestern city of Peshawar in Pakistan, a day after a mob attacked Gurdwara Nankana Sahib. To this, Harsimrat Kaur Badal questioned Punjab CM and wrote: "Capt Amarinder Singh, another Sikh has been killed just because his brother, the first Sikh news anchor in Pakistan, raised his voice against persecution of minorities there. How many more Sikhs need to die before you and your Congress stop this double speak?" Afterwards, SAD delegation led by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal met External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar on January 6 and urged him to seek categorical assurance from Pak PM Imran Khan about protection of assets and lives of minorities and arrest of all those involved in hate attack on Sikhs and stoning of Gurdwara Nankana Sahib." Also, the SAD delegation urged Dr S Jaishankar to raise the issue in UN to expose Pakistan's treatment of minorities before the world. From a total of 40,000 in 2002 census Sikh population has now come down to 5,000. This itself is a proof of forced conversions." Meanwhile, Sukhbir Singh Badal said, "We briefed External Affairs Minister that the situation is so bad in Pakistan that now even those looking after Gurdwaras are not safe any longer. If anybody can attack and stone Gurdwara Janam Asthan then no minority is safe in Pakistan. The international community must intervene." Likewise, Harsimrat Kaur Badal also urged External Affairs Minister to summon Pak high commissioner and stress arrest of those responsible for attack on Sikhs and stoning of Gurdwara Nankana Sahib. Such action would have averted murder of Peshawar Sikh youth. Pak must ensure safety of Sikhs with pro-active steps." -PTC News

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