Main accused in Nankana Sahib vandalism held in Pakistan

Wednesday 08th January 2020 05:59 EST

LAHORE: The main accused in the recent incident of vandalism at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan has been arrested and charged with anti-terrorism act, a top official 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.

According to media reports, a violent mob had attacked the Gurdwara and pelted it with stones on 3rd January, Friday. A team of police had to intervene briskly to control the situation. The accused, identified as Imran, was arrested for his role in the incident. “Most importantly, the gurdwara remains untouched and undamaged. All insinuations to the contrary, particularly the claims of acts of desecration and destruction of the holy place, are not only false but also mischievous,” said an official release by the Pakistan foreign ministry. Azhar Mashwani, the Focal Person to Punjab Chief Minister, took to Twitter to announce the arrest. "The main culprit in #NankanaSahib incident Imran has been arrested." he said in the tweet which also carries the picture of the accused behind bars. He further said that the "7 ATA is a non bailable section under the Anti Terrorism Act.

Breaking his silence on the incident, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the recent incident of vandalism at the Nankana Sahib, saying it goes against his "vision" and the government will show "zero tolerance" against those involved in it. India also had strongly condemned the incident of vandalism at the revered Gurdwara and called upon the Pakistan government to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of the Sikh community there. Indian leaders cutting across party lines and various outfits condemned the mob attack on the historic Gurdwara, terming it as "cowardly" and "shameful".

Hundreds of protesters thronged the streets near the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi demanding that Islamabad provide adequate security to Sikh shrines and community members there. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex body which manages Sikh shrines in India, said it will send a four-member delegation to Pakistan to take stock of the situation and urged the Pakistan government to take stringent action against the culprits who attacked the gurdwara - one of the holiest sites in Sikhism.

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