US Sikhs say holy book’s sacrilege intended to destabilise state

  • PTI, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 22, 2015 22:31 IST
Jathedar Giani Jagtar Singh carrying the Guru Granth Sahib (HT Photo)

Several Sikh-American groups have condemned the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab and alleged that it was a ‘planned strategy’ to destabilise the social fabric of the state.

In a statement, American Sikh Council (ASC) urged the Indian government to bring the guilty to book.

“These are not acts of a deranged individual but a planned strategy to not only destabilise Punjab but also create enough fissures in the social fabric of the state so that when the rural Sikhs of Punjab rise in protest, the Indian government can clamp down on all peaceful dissent with the use of force with the help of the Army eventually,” the ASC said.

North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) condemned the killing of Sikh protesters. “This is very unfortunate that many have been beaten and abused and hundreds of Sikhs have been arrested for simply demanding action against those who desecrated Guru Granth Sahib,” said its executive director Satnam Singh Chahal.

Expressing solidarity with the Sikh community, Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC)– USA condemned the perpetrators of the heinous acts.

“The police assault, apparently without a court order, on the innocent and peaceful protesters sitting on the ground in the village of Behbal Kalan in Faridkot district amounted to a provocative and an uncalled for act which also deserves condemnation,” said INOC’s secretary-general Harbachan Singh.

For the past one week, Punjab has been on the boil over the desecration of the holy book at Bargari village in Faridkot district.

Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, and Inderpaul Singh Gadh, chairman of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, blamed Punjab government of Parkash Singh Badal of mishandling a sensitive religious issue.

They appealed to Sikhs to keep their protests peaceful. “It shows the failure of Punjab administration in not acting promptly... For two to three days, there was total absence by any responsible representative to make any move or a statement to assuage the feelings or the sentiments of the peaceful protesters,” he said.

Gadh said the government cannot blame the protesters for the violence in the state.

“There was no apparent violence and it is being reported wrongly in the media. It is only police which used ruthless force which led to people burning vehicles in outrage. People were under restraint. This was not a protest by people with questionable motives,” he said.

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