NEW DELHI: India on Monday lodged a protest with the Pakistan High Commission over reports that attempts are being made to convert a famous gurdwara in Lahore into a mosque, reports NDTV.
“A strong protest was lodged with the Pakistan High Commission on Monday on the reported incident whereby Gurdwara Shahidi Asthan, site of martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh ji at Naulakha Bazaar in Lahore, Pakistan has been claimed as the place of Masjid Shahid Ganj and attempts are being made to convert it to a mosque,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a statement.Gurdwara Shahidi Asthan Bhai Taru Ji is a historical place where “Bhai Taru Ji made a supreme sacrifice in 1745”, the spokesperson said. It is a place of reverence and considered sacred by Sikhs and the incident has been viewed with grave concern in India, he said.
There have been calls for justice for the minority Sikh community in Pakistan. Manjinder Singh Sirsa, spokesperson of the Akali Dal, tweeted to ask Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to take action against “extremists”.
“Pak extremists want to obliterate this Shaheedi Sthaan completely. This is against basic human rights- no one can deny a person freedom to practice their religion @ImranKhanPTI Pls warn such extremist elements & take immed action to save Shaheedi Sthaan frm illegal squatters,” Sirsa tweeted.
“Pakistan was also called upon to look after the safety, security, well-being of its minority communities including protection of their religious rights and cultural heritage,” the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh On Monday tweeted: “Strongly condemn attempts being made to convert holy Gurdwara Sri Shahidi Asthan in Lahore, site of martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh Ji, into mosque. Urge @DrSJaishankar to convey Punjab’s concerns in strongest terms to Pakistan to safeguard all Sikh places of reverence.”