Religious insensitivity: Sikhs allege meat was cooked in Gurdwara

Community accuses Evacuee Trust Property Board of dumping the issue.

Abdul Manan May 05, 2011


The Sikh community has alleged that meat, prohibited in their religion, was cooked at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hassanabdal, one of the holiest places in Sikhism.

The community has accused the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), the custodian of their religious places, of trying to dump the issue rather than taking steps against those responsible.

“We demand that an FIR be lodged and the culprits who cooked meat in our Gurdwara be penalised,” community leader Sardar Bishon Singh told The Express Tribune. “Meat, eggs and tobacco are prohibited in Sikhism like pork is in Islam,” he said.

“The caretaker, along with local Muslim staff, cooked meat in Gurdwara Panja Sahib on Sunday,” said a member of Gurdwara Panja Sahib Sewadar Society Sardar Pretam Singh. “It is unfortunate for Sikhs that custodians of their religious places, who are almost all Muslims, have been involved in violation of their faith,” said Bishon Singh.

Pretam Singh added that he caught one staff member red-handed with meat in the Gurdwara’s kitchen. “When I complained to the caretaker of the Gurdwara, Memrooz Khan, he rebuffed my plea,” he said.

ETPB’s additional secretary and deputy administrator then conducted an inquiry and transferred all staff from the Gurdwara. “We demanded that all employees involved in the act should at least be suspended, but ETPB refused to do so,” Rajan Singh said.

Sardar Bishon Singh said that anyone who desecrates a religious place should be tried under section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code, he added.

ETPB’s Deputy Administrator Faraz Abbas told The Express Tribune that he was not sure whether anyone cooked meat at the Gurdwara, but on complaints by the community, all staff has been transferred and new people have been appointed.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2011.


Raja123 | 11 years ago | Reply Hey, The issue here is not about Sikhs and our debate over meat. The issue here is about meat in a gurdwara. Traditionally the religious orthodoxy has issued that no meat is allowed within a gurdwara. For those proponents of meat in Sikhism there have been arguments suggested that while meat is allowed, it is not allowed within langar. In any case, it is disturbing to know that some individual who should be at least knowable about the Sikh faith has very arrogantly decided to engage willingly in a prohibited act. According to the article everyone has been replaced and I am pleased to hear about that but a question remains, where have those people been transferred to?
sundar kaur | 11 years ago | Reply If u read Guru Granth Sahib, you will find that Guru Sahib clearly states that eating meat is not allowed in sikhism. There are some people who for their own benefit mislead others. ਜੀਅ ਬਧਹੁ ਸੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਅਧਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਤ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਮੁਨਿਵਰ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਕਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਸਾਈ ॥2॥ "You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? If you religious people are doing "religious" killing for meat, then what is A-dharam (atheism)? If you are a religious person then whom will we call a butcher? ||2||" (Ang 1103) ਕੁਹੈ ਕਸਾਈ ਬਕਰੀ ਲਾਇ ਲੂਣ ਸੀਖ ਮਾਸੁ ਪਰੋਆ ॥ ਹਸਿ ਹਸਿ ਬੋਲੇ ਕੁਹੀਂਦੀ ਖਾਧੇ ਅਕਿ ਹਾਲੁ ਇਹੁ ਹੋਆ॥ ਮਾਸ ਖਾਨਿ ਗਿਲ ਛੁਰੀ ਦੇ ਹਾਲੁ ਤਿਨਾੜਾ ਕਉਣੁ ਅਲੋਆ ॥ "Goat is being killed, cut into pieces, and salt being spread on the pieces. While being killed goat says this all happened to me while I was just eating 'Ak' plant (weed found in India's desert fields). What will be the fate of those in the Court of the Lord who cut my throat with a knife and eat my meat?" (Vaar 37, Pauri 21)
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