Several Sikh groups have staged a demonstration at the Pakistani diplomatic mission in New Delhi, over a Muslim protest in front of Pakistan’s Gurdwara Janam Asthan which has triggered a diplomatic row between the two nations.
The temple, also known as Gurdwara Nankana Sahib (named after the city in Pakistan’s Punjab province), is a cherished treasure built on the site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, was believed to be born. On Friday the location was surrounded by dozens of angry Muslim protesters, who were filmed chanting anti-Sikh slogans.
— Shiraz Hassan (@ShirazHassan) January 3, 2020
The protesters were blocking the entrance to the Gurdwara and, according to some reports, went as far as tossing stones not only at the building, but also at pilgrims. The local police soon arrived, and hours later the crowd dispersed.
The incident received an angry rebuke from New Delhi. India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned what it described as “wanton acts of destruction and desecration of the holy place” and called on the Pakistani government “to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of members of the Sikh community”.
The anger also spilled into street protests in the Indian capital, where several Sikh groups gathered on Saturday in front of the office of Pakistan’s High Commissioner to demand protection, both for fellow believers based in Pakistan and the treasured holy site.
Delhi: Akali Dal and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee protests against Pakistan over the mob attack on Nankana Sahib yesterday pic.twitter.com/kAingHQvfh
— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2020