Condemning the sacrilege of the holy book of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib, Patiala Member of Parliament (MP) Dharamvira Gandhi has claimed that political forces were behind the incidents.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) party MP, who chaired a meeting of all religious sects in his house on Tuesday, said, “Political forces are behind this unfortunate incident which seems to have been planned to disrupt the communal harmony of the state. I appeal to all to maintain peace and harmony as violence has never helped anyone. The state, as it is, is yet to recover from the black days of the 1980s.”
He added such incidents and the resultant protests exposed the carelessness and the failure of the Punjab government, especially the chief minister.
“The state machinery did not react when the Guru Granth Sahib was stolen from a Kotkapura gurdwara four months ago. There were protesters even then and posters had also come up warning of sacrilege of the holy book, yet the police and the administration failed to react,” he claimed, demanding the arrest of police officers who opened fire on protesters in Kotkapura on October 14.
“The families of those killed in the police firing and those injured must be given adequate compensation by the state government,” he said, adding that Punjab was indeed on the boil and even a single untoward incident could again disturb religious and communal harmony.
“We need to maintain the spirit of brotherhood and ensure that the fringe elements are not successful in pushing the state back to old turbulent times,” the MP added.
Those who attended the meeting were major Gurcharan Masih, father Salvation Army church Bhai Prem Singh, Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Singh granthi Maulvi Nayam Khan, Patiala Beopar Mandal representative Rakesh Gupta, advocate KS Cheema and others.