Pakistan charges Gurdwara Nankana Sahib mob demonstration alleged ring leader

Imran Chisthi charged picked up by police following the mob demonstration at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib
By Asia Samachar Team MALAYSIA |

The man accused of organising a mob demonstration outside the Nankana Sahib historical gurdwara was booked under the Terrorism Act on Sunday, two days after the incident.

The swift action to arrest him for the incident on Friday (3 Jan 2020) was probably due to the attention given to the case, including a tweet by the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

During the demonstration at Gurdwara Janam Asthan, the accused, Imran Chishti was seen in a video threatening to raze the gurdwara and build a mosque in its place, remarks that made headlines in newspapers in neighbouring India.

“The Douchebag that incited violence against Sikh community has been booked under TERRORISM act which is non bailable offense. This will send out a clear message to anyone who tries to threaten or harass any minority community. Full marks to the provincial government,” Punjab Chief Minister’s focal person (digital media) Azhar Mashwani said in a tweet on Sunday.

“The main culprit in #NankanaSahib incident Imran has been arrested. FIR # 6/2020 u/s 295A/290/291/341/506/148/ 149, 6 sound system /7ATA has been registered at Nanakana Police Station.”

He added: “The scuffle was between 2 Muslim groups. NOTHING to do with Sikh brothers. To save his family members’ skin (the guilty party) Imran tried to create a scene as his family is being victimised due to his brother’s marriage.”

The suspect is the elder brother of Mohammad Hassan who married a teenage Sikh girl in September 2019 after allegedly abducting and converting her to Islam, triggering a controversy.

The case was resolved with the families agreeing that the girl, who is now at in Dar ul Amaan, will decided her next move at the Sessions Court which is scheduled to hear the case on Thursday (Jan 9).

Imran Chishti leading a mob demonstration in front of the Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib, on 3 Jan 2020

The swift action, after an apparent delay in action by the authorities – with the accused seen able to release an apology video from the comfort of his home – was welcome by various quarters.

“Swift action in #NankanaSahib is remarkable, at both national & regional fronts by religious & political leaders. Non-Pakistani Sikhs need to recognize the need for protection of miniscule Sikh population in Pakistan; their struggles, pressures & reach demand delicate navigation,” said Sikh activist Harinder Singh in a tweet.

In two tweets on Jan 5, Prime Minister Imran Khan said: “The major difference between the condemnable Nankana incident & the ongoing attacks across India on Muslims & other minorities is this: the former is against my vision & will find zero tolerance & protection from the govt incl police & judiciary;

“In contrast, Modi’s RSS vision supports minorities oppression & the targeted attacks against Muslims are part of this agenda. RSS goons conducting public lynchings, Muslims being violated by mobs are all not only supported by Modi Govt but Indian police leads anti-Muslim attacks.”

Imran played a pivotal role in the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor just before the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak’s birth in November 2019. The corridor allows Indians to visit the birth place of the Sikh faith founder, located just miles from the Indian-Pakistan border in Punjab.

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