NCM seeks report from Arunachal Pradesh Government regarding conversion of gurdwara into Buddhist site

Harjinder Singh Dhami, president of the SGPC, said that converting any religious place of one community to that of another religion is a direct violation of Article 25 of the Constitution of India

April 24, 2023 09:15 pm | Updated 09:28 pm IST - New Delhi

Harjinder Singh Dhami, president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. File

Harjinder Singh Dhami, president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. File | Photo Credit: AFP

Responding to the allegation of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee that the historic gurdwara associated with Guru Nanak Dev in Mechuka, Arunachal Pradesh, has been converted into a Buddhist temple, the National Commission of Minorities (NCM) on Monday has sought a detailed report from the State’s Chief Secretary

The NCM in a statement said that such incidents hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikh community and create a feeling of discrimination among them. “We have sought a detailed report in the matter for consideration of the Commission,” the letter said.

The SGPC had recently claimed that a historic gurdwara in Arunachal Pradesh, which is associated with Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, has been converted into a Buddhist shrine.

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“Gurdwara Guru Nanak Tapasthan is located at Mechuka in the memory of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, which has recently been converted into a Buddhist shrine. On April 8, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, shared some photos of his visit on social media, from which it is clear that this Sikh shrine at Mechuka has now been converted into a Buddhist shrine,” the SGPC had said.

Terming this as an attack on Sikhs, Harjinder Singh Dhami, president of the SGPC, said that converting any religious place of one community to that of another religion is a direct violation of Article 25 of the Constitution of India.

The SGPC president said that Gurdwara Guru Nanak Tapasthan was established at Mechuka in memory of the Guru. Historian Colonel Dalvinder Singh Grewal had made an important contribution to the development of this Gurdwara in Mechuka and with the support of the Indian Army, this Gurdwara Sahib was handed over to the Sangat in March 1987.

“But it is highly unfortunate that now a mischievous attempt has been made to destroy this memorial shrine of the first Sikh Guru. It is unfortunate that the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh after visiting this historical Sikh shrine is showing it as a Buddhist shrine. This act is going to hurt Sikh sentiments, which will be strongly opposed at all levels”, said Mr. Dhami.

The SGPC President said that this is a very serious matter, in which the President of India, the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the National Commission for Minorities should intervene immediately. He said that many cases related to Sikh shrines located in different parts of the country are already pending and now another case has been created. This is another example of discrimination against Sikhs, on which the Indian Government should take cognisance and move towards a solution. He said that in this regard, the SGPC will write letters to the President and the representatives of the Government of India (GoI) and ask for action.

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