The government on Friday assured Sikhs living in Jammu and Kashmir that they had nothing to worry about, following reported threats to the community to either convert to Islam or leave the Valley.
Responding to concerns raised by Rajya Sabha MPs, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said he had spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who assured him that every effort would be made to provide protection.
“Nobody will be allowed to harm the Sikh community,” Chidambaram said.
“There is nothing to fear or nothing to worry,” he replied after the Opposition NDA members demanded a statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after forcing two brief adjournments of the House on the issue.
In the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee assured said the government would take all steps to ensure that no harm came to Sikhs.
“Not only Muslims of Kashmir but the whole of India would rise as one to stand by the Sikh community,” he said.
The government strongly denied the report published in a national daily regarding the threat to Sikhs in Kashmir.
A government spokesman termed the report a deliberate attempt to malign the strong secular image of the people of Kashmir outside the state.
Separatists also assured security to Sikhs in Kashmir.
Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani said, “Sikh brothers should have no reason to have any fear. The majority community has nothing against them.”
Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also condemned the letters and spoke of full cooperation with the minority community.