Sikh religion’s major holy shrine came under attack of an angry mob of Muslims in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Friday. Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of the first guru of Sikhs Guru Nanak Dev, was attacked by stone pelters as they staged a protest against alleged police atrocities on Mohammed Hassan, the boy who is accused of forcing a Sikh girl to convert before marrying her.
The mob, led by Hassan’s brother, gheraoed the holy shine, leaving several devotees stranded inside and pelted stones. The videos which have surfaced from the incident show him saying that if the authorities did not stop the brutality he will not let any Sikh live in the city.
He can also be seen threatening to destroy Nankana Sahib Gurdwara and build the mosque in that place. “We will ensure that there is not a single Sikh left in Nankana. And the name of this place will soon be changed from Nankana to Ghulaman-e-Mustafa,” said Hassan’s brother.
He alleged that Sikhs had been pressurising his family to send the girl back to them, but she does not want to go back. “I have been beaten by police authorities many times on orders of the minority minister and others. These Sikhs have been pressurizing us to send the girl back to them. But that will never happen because she is a Muslim now. She does not want to leave my brother or Islam. We will stand by her side and protect her,” he said.
Jagjit Kaur, daughter of a granthi at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, was allegedly kidnapped by Mohammed Hassan, who reportedly forced her to convert her to Islam and marry him. After diplomatic pressure from India, Pakistani authorities brokered a deal between families and they consented that the girl will be returned to the parents, but the girl, now known as Ayesha, has refused to comply with the deal and has said that she loves her husband and would not leave him.
The latest incident of stone-pelting at the holiest Sikh shrine has received major backlash from India, as the government put out an official statement condemning the incident and calling for immediate action to protect the minorities in the country.
The statement from the Centre came after Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal called out for action against the ongoing mob violence in Nankana Sahib.
Nankana Sahib is a district in Pakistan’s Punjab province with a namesake gurdwara. The Sikh temple marks the place of the sect’s founder and first guru, Nanak Dev in 1469.