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Accuses Army of removing old writings from Gurdwara Pathar Sahib

All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Monday expressed deep anguish and concern over the defacement of a Gurdwara located in the Leh area of Ladakh division of Jammu & Kashmir.

Accusing an Army unit in the area of removing the old writings from the Gurdwara, APSCC urged Governor Satya Pal Malik and Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat to intervene and get the matter resolved within shortest possible time. In a statement, APSCC chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said that some elements who want to divide people in the name of religion have defaced the Gurdwara Pathar Sahib located at an altitude of 12,000 feet in Leh. Raina said that the outer structure of the Gurdwara has been defaced by these divisive elements.

“Symbols associated with Sikhism have been replaced by symbols denoting Hindu religion and Buddhism. This action is tantamount to interference in religious matters of Sikhs and the members of the community would not keep quiet over this issue. The people at helm should take the matter seriously and solve it as well,” said Raina. The APSCC chairman said that nobody has any right whatsoever to change the nomenclature of a religious place belonging to some other religion. He said that there is a strong resentment over this move and if the issue is not solved then the things may go out of control.

“The Gurdwara Pathar Sahib has historical importance as it is linked with the travelogues of Guru Nanak Dev. Via Kashmir went to Guru Nanak Dev-ji Leh and then to Tibet and Mansarovar and other adjacent areas. Despite this historical importance the divisive elements have started to change the status of the Gurdwara Pathar Sahib,” said Raina. He said that the old writings have been removed from the Gurdwara by the Army unit located near the Gurdwara.

He said the emergent situation may lead to another Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid like issue. “Sikhs would not act as mute spectators to the whole issue,” he warned. “I appeal Governor Satya Pal Malik and Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat to intervene in the matter and order the army-men to restore the original status of Gurdwara Pathar Sahib. This would send a strong signal to the people who are hell-bent to destroy the secular fabric,” said Raina.

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