India has strongly condemned the mob violence at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan this evening after reports emerged that hundreds of angry people surrounded the iconic gurdwara and threw stones, with devotees inside. Nankana Sahib is the birth place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
“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 government said in a statement.
News agency ANI quoted reports to say the mob was led by the family of a boy who had allegedly abducted the daughter of an official of the gurdwara in August last year and forcefully converted her.
“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 government statement added.
A video of the incident was shared by Akali Dal MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa, which shows an angry mob shouting anti-Sikh slogans outside the gurdwara.
“Live footage from Nankana Sahib where an angry Muslim mob is outside Gurdwara Sahib and raising anti-Sikh slogans… I urge Imran Khan to take immediate action on such communal incidents that are increasing the insecurity in the minds of Sikhs of Pakistan,” Mr Sirsa tweeted.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has also appealed to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to intervene.
“Appeal to @ImranKhanPTI 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.
Imran Khan, in turn, tweeted videos which he alleged were of the “Indian police attacking Muslims”. However, the videos turned out to be footage shot in 2013 in Bangladesh. The Pakistan PM later deleted the tweets.
ANI reported that police have arrived at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib to control the mob.