Gurdwara in Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. (Dawn Photo)
Two days after Pakistan arrested the main accused in the vandalism at the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in that country, former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha and senior Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali), leader Bir Devinder Singh has claimed that the mob attack at the Sikh shrine seemed to be the “covert operation of Indian intelligence agencies”.
Bir Devinder has made the statement on his Facebook wall stating that the incident was caused because of the “nervousness” over the growing bonhomie among the Sikhs and Muslims after the opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor.
“Intelligent people in the Sikh community, having the knack to read between the lines, were already watchful of such sinister designs of the Government of India. The opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor has caused deep sense of disquiet to the majoritarian and authoritarian rulers of Delhi.
The National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was reportedly contemplating to evolve a strategy for thwarting the emerging bonhomie among the Sikhs and the Muslims as a consequence to Kartarpur Sahib corridor initiative by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan,” alleged Bir Devinder.
He also went on to say that the top ideologues of the RSS were apprehensive of likely emerging scenario of an interfaith dialogue between Sikhism and Islam (Sufism) in times to come.
“So a well thought of strategy was thus worked out to upstage the emerging understanding between two significant minorities. Consequently a hostile vandalism at Nankana Sahib was stage managed through secret agents, under the aegis of coveted cross border operations, which was cunningly crafted by the Indian intelligence agencies to achieve guileful hidden objectives,” he said.
Bir Devinder added that he would not be surprised if the movement of Sikh pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib through the corridor is obstructed with mischievous intent. “We should intensely examine every nuance of geo-political developments with clinical precision rather than overreacting instantaneously without understanding the surreptitious designs of the majoritarian regime,” he said.
Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, also known as Gurdwara Janam Asthan, is a site near Lahore where the first Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak, was born.
Nankana police station Inspector Muhammad Jamil on Monday had said that they have arrested the main accused behind the incident. The suspect, identified as Imran Chisti, is the elder brother of Mohammad Hassan who married a teenage Sikh girl in September last after allegedly abducting and converting her to Islam, triggering a controversy. Chisti, a government employee was booked under sections 295A, 290, 291, 341,506, 148 and 149 of Pakistan Penal Code and 7-ATA (anti-terrorism act).
According to the FIR, Chishti incited a mob on Friday in the name of religion and threatened to destroy a worship place of a minority community (Gurdwara Janam Asthan) to build a shrine there. “The suspect incited the sentiments of Muslims in order to have settled his family issue and created a law and order situation in the Nankana city,” the FIR said.
Bir Devinder also referred to the killing of a Sikh youth in Peshawar but stated that this did not appear to be crime against the Sikh community. “I am of the view that the recent unfortunate killing of a young man at Peshawar could not be termed as a target killing of the Sikhs as the deceased person does not don the Sikh identity by any standards of Sikh religion.
Sikh community should be wiser enough to read the nuance, between the lines; rather than reacting vociferously, unmindful of serious insinuation and consequences,” he said.
When contacted by The Indian Express and questioned about how he had reached the conclusions about Nankana Sahib incident, Bir Devinder said, “my statement is backed by inputs from various quarters”.
Earlier, on Monday the external affairs ministry had summoned Pakistan’s Chargé d’affaires Syed Haider Shah and lodged a strong protest over the desecration of Gurdwara and killing of the Sikh youth.