While Amritsar observed a complete bandh, following protests over incidents of desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, representatives of various faiths prayed for peace and brotherhood in Punjab during a ‘peace meet’ organised by the Amritsar district administration on Monday.
The district administration and police authorities urged the representatives of various faiths to ensure the presence of a few people at different places of worship to avert such incidents in the future.
Representatives of Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and other faiths vowed to maintain peace in the district and foil nefarious designs of inimical forces. They pledged to hold street (nukkad) meetings to spread the message of peace and harmony to the grassroot level, besides preaching the message of love and brotherhood from pulpits in churches and discourses delivered from temples, gurdwaras and mosques, among the masses.
“Even at the height of disturbances, Punjab never witnessed a single communal clash and people showed utmost restraint in dealing with the situation,” said Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat. He called upon the residents of the city to vow to maintain peace and tranquility, instead of getting provoked by wild rumours through unsubstantiated, baseless and false social media messages.
The representatives of various organisations, including Sayed Hamid Hussain Kasmi, Imam of Badi Masjid, Khairuddin; John Kotli from All India Christian Front, Sayed; Tarundeep Singh, coordinator, Eco-Sikh organization; Satpal Mahajan, president Durgiana Mandir Committee, stressed the need to launch a concerted awareness drive to make aware the masses against the baseless messages being spread through social media with a view to maintaining peace and communal harmony.
They also emphasised the need to track the details of those behind these anti-social messages so that necessary and stern legal action could be initiated against them. Bhagat along with police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh and deputy commissioner of police Harpreet Singh also urged the members of various religious bodies to ensure the places of worship in the city were well-guarded at all time, so that such incidents could be averted in future.
They said the district and police administration was constantly keeping a tab on the situation and it was under control. Amritsar mayor Bakshi Ram Arora, senior deputy mayor Avtar Singh Truckanwala, deputy mayor Avinash Jolly, district BJP chief Naresh Sharma, Rajinder Marwaha, office bearer of Vyopar wing, DP Gupta, former additional commissioner and members of various NGOs advocated the need to hold ward-level, street, and police station level meetings to spread the message of peace, amity and tranquility in the state.
Amristar DC also urged the residents to come forward against wrong and baseless messages being spread through social media by some anti-social elements. He said people could provide information, if any, in this regard at control room no 100 and 97811-30666 so that timely action could be taken.