The chief of the top Sikh body, the Akal Takht, on Monday called for a ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, claiming that allowing it to operate freely would “divide the nation”, NDTV reported.

“I believe what the RSS is doing will create divisions in the country,” Giani Harpreet Singh told reporters in Amritsar. “The statements being made by RSS leaders are not in the country’s interests.” When it was pointed out that the RSS is linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party, Singh said, “Then it is not in the country’s interests. It will hurt the country and destroy it.”

The Akal Takht chief’s remarks came days after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat claimed that India will be a Hindu Rashtra as long as even one person in the country calls himself a Hindu. “The vision and proclamation of the Sangh regarding the identity of the nation, social identity of all of us, and the identity of the country’s nature, are clear, well thought of and firm that Bharat is Hindustan, Hindu Rashtra,” Bhagwat had said on the occasion of Vijayadashami on October 8.

Last week, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee President Gobind Singh Longowal had also objected to Bhagwat’s remark.

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