KARACHI: Sikh community representative Sardar Ramesh Singh has demanded that those responsible for the desecration of their holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, should be tried and arrested under the blasphemy law.
He said this at a meeting of minorities on Tuesday. “Those arrested should be tried under the blasphemy law, be they of any faith, so that such incidents are not repeated.”
He said that 10 to 12 incidents of desecration have taken place and, in most cases, the FIRs were not registered. He cited the example of a man, who was arrested in Khairpur, but was later released as he was said to be mentally unstable. He added that those who are arrested should be punished.
To avoid further incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib at Hindu temples, the representatives of minorities at the meeting stressed the need for security and protection at the places of worship.
Consensus was developed among the two communities that the holy scriptures will not be removed from Hindu temples, while steps were discussed on how to improve the law and order situation.
Presiding over the meeting, Evacuee Trust Property Board chairperson Siddiqueul Farooq said they will not remove the Guru Granth Sahib from the Hindu temples. Regarding the past incidents in which fires were reported at temples in Sindh and the Guru Granth Sahib was damaged, he said that cases of short-circuits had been reported. “A circuit breaker needs to be installed in temples as well as fire extinguishers,” he said. During the meeting, Singh said that if the Hindus cannot take care of their Guru Granth Sahib, they should be given back to them. “There are 18 gurdwaras in Sindh. Why doesn’t any short-circuit incident take place there? Why are they taking place only at Hindu temples? And why only at night?” he asked.
Meanwhile, Farooq announced the setup of a new printing press in Nankana Sahib, which will print the Guru Granth Sahib.
The president of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Chela Ram Kewlani, said that while a committee was formed by the Sindh government to look into these incidents and closed-circuit television cameras and guards were promised for the temples, nothing has been done so far. “Six months have passed by, but no camera or guard for protection has been given to the Hindu temples,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2015.