A delegation led by chairman of the Delhi Minority Commission, Zafarul Islam Khan, met Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh at his office in Amritsar on Thursday to seek the support of the Sikh community against the alleged attempts to divide the country on religious lines. The Jathedar assured the delegation that Sikhs were with Muslims in efforts to maintain communal harmony in the country.
“Muslim leaders have come to Akal Takht Sahib today and they have discussed the state of affairs in country. They have described how there is sentiment of fear among the minorities in country. I too told them that indeed there is a feeling of insecurity among minorities. If Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists have same duties towards the country, then they must have equal rights also. It cannot be that everyone has to follow the duties and when it comes to rights then one community has it, but others don’t,” said Akal Takht Jathedar who had earlier welcomed Citizenship Amendment Act with a rider that Muslims must be included in it.
He added that while he appreciated the efforts of the Muslim delegation to meet Sikh leaders, but at the same time, they should also “meet Hindu leaders and discuss the issues in same way as they discussed with me”.
“There are many factions among Hindus who don’t like what is going in country just like Sikhs, Muslims, Jains and tribal. We can hope that all will come on one stage to discuss the problem to maintain the communal harmony and peace in India,” the Jathedar said.
On the support sought by the delegation, the Jathedar said, “Sikhs are bound by their principles to stand for the victim. Sikhs have always stood against the injustice. So, we as Sikhs are with them. A Muslim group had come to Akal Takht earlier too with request that all communities should come on same stage to tackle the current situation and sentiment of fear and insecurity among minorities as it is not good for country.”
Khan, who heads the Delhi Minority Commission, said, “We have come here to gain their support against the attempt of making India a one-religion nation. We have been told by Akal Takht Jathedar that Sikhs have always stood with the victims. They have given us hope.”
‘Bhindranwale a Sikh martyr’
Reacting to a statement by Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu that Sikh militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was a terrorist, Akal Takht Jathedar said, “It does not matter what one person is saying about Bhindranwale. He is great Sikh martyr of the 20th century and will always remain so.”
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