Sun, Dec 4, 2016 | updated 11:38 AM IST

Sikh religious bodies, leaders condemn sacrilege incident in California

Updated: Aug 11, 2016 13:56 IST

Amritsar/California, Aug. 11 (ANI): Various Sikh bodies and political leaders on Thursday criticised the alleged desecration of the Sikh holy book the Guru Granth Sahib in California, saying some elements want to create unrest in the Sikh community by committing such incidents, and urged urging the U.S. Government to thoroughly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Taking a serious note of the incident, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) Dajeet Bedi told ANI that they condemn the incident and appeal to the Sikh community living there to be vigilant.

We will take up matter with the U.S. Government through proper channel (Government of India) and appeal them to provide safety and security to the Sikhs living there, gurdwaras and holy scriptures," he added.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) president Paramjit Singh Sarna said such incidents were unheard in the U.S, adding that some elements want to create unrest in the Sikh community by committing such incidents.

"Disrespect to holy religious scriptures was unheard in the U.S. Some elements wanted to create unrest in the community, and thus, were indulged in such incidents," Sarna told ANI.

While condemning the incident, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh told ANI, "This is unbelievable, because for the first time such an unfortunate incident has been reported from America. Sikhs living there should be ensured that such incidents are not repeated."

He said he was hopeful that the U.S. Police would soon nab the perpetrators, who dared to hurt Sikh religious feelings, and would put him behind the bars.

He also appealed to the U.S. Government to ensure safety of all Sikh religious scriptures at homes and in gurdwaras.

Punjab Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema, meanwhile, said his government condemned the incident. "We hope that the U.S. Police would soon nab the perpetrators and appeal to the U.S. Government to ensure safety and security of the Sikhs living there," he told ANI.

Cheema, meanwhile, appealed to all Sikh leaders of America, Canada and other parts of the world to maintain peace and communal harmony, while urging the U.S. Government to thoroughly investigate the alleged desecration of the Sikh holy book the Guru Granth Sahib in California.

Cheema said, "I appeal to all the Sikh leaders of America, Canada and even Sikhs of other parts of the world that they should maintain peace and communal harmony, because somebody is trying to provoke the community and his designs are very evil. So, we must take care so that peace and communal harmony are not disturbed at any cost, and the U.S. Government should take the case very seriously."

Stating that the incident is "extremely serious", Cheema said it must be condemned by everybody as such incidents were aimed at disturbing the peace and communal harmony.

"The way this incident took place, it shows that there is some deep-rooted conspiracy. Some agency wants to disturb peace and communal harmony. And time and again, they are perpetrating such incidents in Punjab, and now in America," said Cheema.

Union Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal said India must demand the "strongest and urgent" action against desecrators of the Guru Granth Sahib.

"I hope and I'm going to meet Sushma ji (External Affairs Minister) and appeal to her that India must demand the strongest and most urgent actions, so that the perpetrators in California are brought to the book immediately," said Harsimrat Kaur.

She told ANI the decimation of religious scriptures was taking place and now was happening in California.

"I appeal to Sikhs worldwide to realise what these enemies of the nation and enemies of Punjab are trying to do by disrupting peace and development of Punjab. Now, they are doing the same there (in California), but the sufferers are going to be Punjabis and nobody else," Badal said.

The incident took place yesterday when pages of the Guru Granth Sahib were torn and thrown away by the miscreant.

"The incident took place last evening, when a notorious person torn the holy book into pieces. This has riled up the people of our community. We along with our community will take up this issue. And we expect that American authorities will find a solution to this and bring the culprits to the book. Moving on we also wish that police and local authorities lend us help in the matter," said American Gurudwar Committee coordinator Pritpal Singh.

Subsequent to the incident, California Mayor Carol Dutra arrived at the protest site and assured the protestors of penal action against the miscreants who have attempted to hurt their religious sentiments.

According to reports, police have registered a complaint in the matter. (ANI)