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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Pak Sikhs threaten protests against holy book desecration

PTI  Islamabad , May 27, 2014
First Published: 17:56 IST(27/5/2014) | Last Updated: 17:58 IST(27/5/2014)

A Sikh organisation in Pakistan has threatened to launch countrywide protests if those who allegedly desecrated the Sikh holy book are not arrested by Saturday.

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Speaking at a press conference at Karachi Press Club yesterday, Pakistan Sikh Council (PSC) patron Ramesh Singh demanded that a judicial commission be constituted to investigate how and why such incidents had all of a sudden started happening across Sindh province, reported the Dawn.

He said that all the culprits should be arrested, tried and awarded stern punishment so that it could act as deterrence to others. He also demanded security for the religious places of minorities.

Recounting instances in which copies of the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib were burnt, Singh alleged that various incidents had been reported from across the province including in Sukkur, Dadu and Shikarpur districts.

Earlier this month, similar incidents were reported in Karachi and Shikarpur.

Singh said that Sikhs had been living in peace and harmony with other communities in Sindh for centuries but such incidents had never happened in the past.

He said that Sikhs were as patriotic as other communities in Pakistan and did not want to embarrass the country internationally, but they had been pushed to the wall and it was the government's responsibility to recognise the Sikhs' religious sentiments.

Pakistan is home to about 20,000 Sikhs.

The Sikh leader said they also approached the chief justice of Pakistan who had directed that FIRs of all such incidents be produced in court on the next hearing and the culprits be arrested.

Last week, dozens of angry Sikhs had stormed Pakistan's parliament and were only pacified after the government assured them that their grievances would be addressed.

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