Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday raised concerns over Friday’s mob attack on the Nankana Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan’s Nankana Sahib district, and described the incident as “unwarranted and unprovoked”, PTI reported. The attackers had pelted stones at the gurdwara and hurled abuses and threats.
“The Government of India should also press for immediate registration of case, arrest and action against the culprits,” the Congress leader said in a statement. Gandhi also urged the Centre to immediately raise the matter with Pakistani officials and ensure that safety of pilgrims is maintained. She added that sufficient security measures should be taken to avoid any attacks in the future.
The gurdwara is at the site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, was born. It is considered to be one of the holiest Sikh shrines. The Ministry of External Affairs had issued a statement condemning the incident on Friday.
Indian politicians from across the spectrum on Saturday condemned the episode. Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said that the attack is proof of the condition of minorities in Pakistan. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called the attack “reprehensible”. Shiromani Akali Dal Spokesperson Manjinder Singh Sirsa said Sikhs in India will no longer tolerate attacks on their brethren in Pakistan.
The mob was reportedly led by the family of a boy who had allegedly abducted Jagjit Kaur, the daughter of the gurdwara’s pathi last year. A pathi reads the scriptures of the Guru Granth Sahib – Sikhism’s holiest book.
Pakistan had late on Friday dismissed news reports that claimed Gurdwara Nankana Sahib near Lahore had been vandalised by a mob. The country’s foreign office said provincial authorities in Punjab province had informed it that a scuffle had broken out in Nankana Sahib between two Muslim groups at a tea stall. The district administration immediately intervened and arrested the accused. Islamabad reiterated its commitment to upholding law and order, and providing security and protection to people, especially minorities.