Srinagar- Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa on Monday said that some vested interests were trying to hijack the “forced conversion issue” and were giving it a political colour.
Sirsa, who landed in Srinagar on Sunday after the Sikh community held a protest demonstration against the alleged “forced conversation” of two Sikh girls from Srinagar.
He alleged that two more young women of their community have been “kidnapped” while only one was handed over to family the other one was still untraceable.
Sirsa, who is also the president of Delhi Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee, joined the protesters in Srinagar.
The incident has been given a political colour, with Sikhs demanding the introduction of anti-conversion law in Jammu and Kashmir, as has been implemented in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
However while addressing a press conference, Sirsa told reporters that he has apprised his community that some vested interests were trying to hijack the incident and bring out their own agenda.
“The communal harmony among the Kashmiri Sikhs and Muslims should not be damaged. Some people will try to make it a different issue. But we had a meeting today and I have informed our people that we don’t have to allow it,” Sirsa told reporters.
He however said that the people from the majority community should stand by them as they have always come to rescue of Kashmiri Muslims.
“It is unfortunate that the majority community is silent on the issue. We have stood behind the Kashmiris during every good and bad time,” he said.
Sirsa further said the people from other communities are taunting them for rescuing Kashmiris in distress times as the community failed to speak on the incident.
He also slammed unionist leaders including the separatists for not speaking out on the issue.
While slamming the court order, Sirsa alleged the order was biased and they have strongly condemned it.
“We have sought a meeting with the Chief justice of India and we will register our protest regarding the order,” he said.
Sirsa also demanded an anti-conversion law in the Valley which would mandate parents' permission for the marriage.
"We also expressed the demand of having an anti-conversion law which would mandate parents' permission," Mr Sirsa said.
He added that a Sikh delegation also discussed the issue of the local gurdwara land in the meeting with LG Sinha to which he readily agreed upon.
No place for 'forcible conversion' in Islam: Grand Mufti
Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam Monday said that Sikhs were part and parcel of Kashmiri society and that there was no place for “forcible conversion in Islam”.
Reacting to what he termed as “disturbing reports” that a Sikh girl has been allegedly abducted and forcibly converted to another religion and then married to man from another religion, Mufti said: “First of all, there is no place for conversion by force in Islam. Conversion to Islam has to be by one’s conviction and choice without any force or compulsion” .
Demanding strict action against the wrong doers, Mufti said Sikhs are part and parcel of Kashmiri community and no one will be allowed to disrespect their faith in the Valley.
“Let there be an impartial enquiry into the matter," he said. He said Kashmir is known for maintaining communal harmony for years together and Sikhs are an important part of Kashmir’s age-old culture, ethos and communal brotherhood.
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