Sikh leader apologises to Kashimiris for provocative statements over alleged kidnapping
The alleged abduction of the woman triggered protests on Sunday. Police said that she was allegedly abducted by a 29-year-old Muslim man. There was no clarity on whether the woman converted to Islam of her free will or if the abduction charges were genuine
Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) leader Paramjit Singh Sarna on Tuesday apologised to the people of Kashmir for any hurt caused by the statements of a Sikh leader from Delhi in the backdrop of the alleged kidnapping of a woman from the community. He praised the support of local Muslim organisations, Kashmir’s top cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and administration, saying the woman got married to a man of her choice on Tuesday while insisting the matter has been settled.
“I met the family of the girl. This issue was settled today. She knew the person, who she got married to,” said Singh.
The alleged abduction of the woman triggered protests on Sunday. Police said that she was allegedly abducted by a 29-year-old Muslim man. There was no clarity on whether the woman converted to Islam of her free will or if the abduction charges were genuine. Police said the man was arrested on kidnapping charges on Saturday, days after the woman’s parents filed a complaint against him. They also denied charges of conversion, a charge levelled by the protesters. The woman was presented before a court, and she went with her family members thereafter.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president of the Delhi Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee, earlier said they will not tolerate “forced conversions” of Sikh women and called for a law that mandates permission of parents in inter-religion marriages. He also said he spoke to Union home minister Amit Shah.
Sarna said if the woman had married the man arrested over alleged kidnapping, then the administration would not have handed over her to her family. “We also met people such as the Mirwaiz and Muslim organisations. The way all of them collaborated with us, we would not forget that for the rest of our lives,” he said. “We were provided support.”
Sarna condemned the provocative statements made over the issue. “Although I have no association with them, but since a Sikh (Sirsa) came from Delhi and gave a statement, I apologise for that. Any hurt which was caused by his statement to the people here, it is my responsibility as a representative to apologise on his behalf,” he said
“ We are thankful to the lieutenant governor (Manoj Sinha), the administration, and all the Muslim organisations and Imams of many mosques who met us. I also told them that since we are in minority, so you (majority) have to take care of us.”