Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC), the apex Sikh body of the community, has sent a worrisome letter that speaks volumes of the worsening situation of the minority Sikhs in Kashmir. SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar has sent a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Jammu & Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra, and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti requesting them to ensure that Sikhs remain safe in the troubled state.
In the letter, he has written that the Sikhs living in Jammu and Kashmir are being hounded and forced to take part in anti-India and pro-Pak protests.
He further wrote that SGPC is getting calls from Sikhs from different parts of the state where they are narrating their woes. He underlined that the community has a negligible presence in the state already and such pressure tactics are making it worrisome about their future.
In a report by Indian Express he is quoted as saying:
“Sikh associations in Kashmir has informed us over phone that Sikhs are feeling unsafe in Kashmir. Sikhs have being forced to come out of their homes and professions establishments to participate in the protest against India and raise pro-Pakistan slogans. Sikhs have become prisoners in their own homes in Kashmir. They are struggling to buy food and other commodities for their daily needs due to protests and fear.”
He, however, did not give the name of the people and organizations as it could harm them but he did underline that during floods last year Sikhs came out in full force to give relief to the people. Hence, Sikhs also must get similar support in Kashmir now.
Kashmiri separatists have been doing the propaganda of Sikhs joining ‘Muslims’ to protest against Indian tyranny type of propaganda for long and they use the minorities to show India in the bad light.
Recently, a militant group also warned the Kashmiri Pandits to be prepared for death. The violence that began with terrorist Burhan Wani’s encounter has escalated and many security personnel and common Kashmiri Muslims have been injured in the mindless violence which is being instigated by Pakistan-based terrorists. Pakistan’s role has already come to light but the cycle of violence continues and it is especially hurting the minorities.
It also works for Pakistan which keeps raking up ‘Khalistan’ and ‘azad Kashmir’ bogey to rattle India with which it fought 3 full-fledged wars and lost all three of them.
This is like the rerun of the situation of August 2010, when a delegation led by Ranjit Singh Sarhadi, the chairman of Guru Nanak Foundation, a prominent group of Sikh community in the valley, came to meet the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and told him that they feared for their safety as they were facing “harassment at the hands of miscreants” who pelt vehicles with stones and harass them while the government remains out of touch with their human rights issues.