Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar on Sunday condemned the gurdwara blast in the German city of Essen and sought the arrest of those involved. The blast that occurred on Saturday left three persons, including a ‘granthi’, injured.
In a release, Makkar has called upon the German law-enforcement agencies to investigate the matter in detail to come out with the truth. The SGPC chief wished the injured a speedy recovery, while stating that Sikhs were a peace-loving community that had contributed to the progress and development of countries where they have settled after migrating from India.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh, meanwhile, has written to German Chancellor Angela Merkel seeking a thorough investigation into the incident to “restore confidence” and ensure safety of Sikhs living in the European nation.
The SGPC has so far refrained from terming the incident a case of hate crime. Since the 9/11 terror strikes in the United States, Sikhs have become targets of hate crime in the West, as they are often mistaken as Muslims due to the turban. Incidents of gurdwaras being attacked and vandalised have also been reported.
Sukhbir calls for campaign to sensitise people about Sikhism
Condemning the incident, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday appealed to all Sikhs, especially gurdwara management committees in Indian and abroad, to launch a campaign to sensitise people across the world about Sikhism and its concepts of peace and universal brotherhood.
The deputy chief minister said he has also urged the Union minister for external affairs to take up the issue of safety of Sikhs and their religious places with the German government besides helping the injured and working with the local community to rebuild the shrine.