Akal Takht, SGPC condemn slapping of Sharad PawarYudhvir Rana, TNN | Nov 26, 2011, 07.25AM IST
AMRITSAR: Condemning the reported targeting of Sikhs by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)activists in cities like Kohlapur and Satara, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh called for maintaining communal harmony and avoiding giving a communal colour to the incident.
According to reports, the slapping of Sharad Pawar by a Sikh youth, Harvinder Singh, on Thursday, triggered demonstrations by NCP activists across Maharashtra. Slamming Harvinder for this deplorable step, Giani Gurbachan said the community should not be blamed for this. He said though it was the duty of the government to control inflation and check corruption, the step that Harvinder had taken was not right.
At the same time, the Jathedar also censured NCP activists for targeting Sikhs. ''Efforts should be made to maintain peace and communal harmony and not give a communal twist to the incident,'' he said.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar appealed to Maharashtra government to take strict action against persons who were targeting Sikhs. Condemning Harvinder for slapping Pawar, he said Sikhs believed in peaceful coexistence. He urged the Maharashtra government to take appropriate steps to ensure the safe return of Sikhs who had gone to Maharashtra for Gurpurab.
All India Sikh Students Federation (Peer Mohammad) president Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad said Harvinder's targeting of two politicians within days was ''a deliberate conspiracy to paint Sikhs in poor light''. He urged Maharashtra government to clampdown on people targeting Sikhs.
Criticizing the slapping incident, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa said the government should protect Sikhs living in Maharashtra.