Main accused in Nankana Sahib vandalism arrested
The main accused in the vandalism at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib has been arrested, officials said on Monday.
A First Information Report (FIR) has also been registered against the accused, Imran Chishti, Focal Person on Digital Media to CM Punjab, Azhar Mashwani, said.
On Friday, a mob in Pakistan surrounded the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib and pelted stones at the Sikh shrine.
Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, also known as Gurdwara Janam Asthan, is a site near Lahore where the first Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak, was born.
The mob, led by Chishti, also included relatives of Mohammad Hassan, accused of abducting and forcibly converting a Sikh woman, Jagjit Kaur. Kaur is the daughter of the gurdwara’s granthi.
The mob threatened to occupy the gurdwara if people detained in connection with the forcible conversion were not released.
Several devotees were stuck in the gurdwara as protesters threatened to destroy the shrine and build a mosque in its place. The protest ended after negotiations between the protesters and representatives of the local administration led to the release of the arrested people, reports in the Pakistani media said.
Political leaders in New Delhi, cutting across party lines, condemned the attack on the gurdwara and called for strict action by the Pakistan government.
Pakistan, however, maintained that the incident was not communal in nature and the gurdwara was not desecrated. “Attempts to paint this incident as a communal issue are patently motivated...the gurdwara remains untouched and undamaged. All insinuations to the contrary, particularly the claims of acts of ‘desecration and destruction’ and desecration of the holy place, are not only false but also mischievous,” the Pakistan Foreign Office had said in a statement.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a series of tweets on Sunday, said that the incident is “against his vision and will find zero tolerance and protection from the government including police and judiciary”.
Interior minister Ijaz Shah had on Sunday visited the town on PM Imran’s instructions to review the situation after the incident.
Addressing a press conference at Gurdwara Janamasthan, he said all the communities were living with brotherhood and peace in Nankana Sahib and such example could not be found in any other city of the country.