Sikh body seeks anti-conversion law in J&K, rakes up demand with LG

Manjinder Singh Sirsa addressing a press conference in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Manjinder Singh Sirsa addressing a press conference in Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, June 28: Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today demanded the immediate return of a Sikh girl who was allegedly made to convert forcibly and married off in Srinagar.
DSGMC President Manjinder Singh Sirsa while talking to reporters here said that there has been an increase in such incidents and that they demand that the Government should bring in anti-conversion law in J&K to safeguard their women and prevent such incidents from happening in future.
“It is disheartening that such incidents are being justified by the majority community and it is something which is not acceptable to us at any cost,” he said.
He said that the leaders of their community in the country as well as across the world have talked about the incident and have termed it unacceptable. He said that their leaders have asked the UT administration to see to it that the girl is sent back to her home.
Sirsa expressed his anguish over the silence of the mainstream regional parties of J&K over the issue and appealed to them to talk about it. At the same time, he said that the people from the majority should have come in support of them rather than remaining silent.
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“The people from majority should have come out and talked about it. I don’t know why are the leaders silent, why are Abdullahs silent, why are Azad sahib and Mehbooba Ji silent over the issue,” he said.
In this regard, a protest was also later witnessed in Srinagar which was led by a few youths and termed the incident as “unfortunate” and appealed that the efforts should be made to get that girl back to her home.
“I don’t have anything to do with any political party, I am a common man and have come out to protest against the incident; that girl does not belong to one particular community, she belongs to Kashmir,” the youth said.
Earlier, a delegation of DSGMC met Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and sought the safe return of the Sikh girl to her family.
In a statement, DSGMC President Manjinder Singh Sirsa said LG Sinha addressed the committee’s concerns related to the safety of Sikh girls in the valley and the “harmful” trend of religious conversion.
“Thanking LG, Jammu Kashmir Manoj Sinha Ji for immediately issuing directions concerning the issue of forced Nikah of Sikh daughters in Srinagar. He has assured us that the Sikh girl who was forcibly converted would be returned to her family. He addressed our concerns related to the safety of Sikh girls in the valley and this harmful trend of religious conversion,” said Sirsa.
He added that the delegation also discussed the issue of the local gurdwara land in the meeting with LG Sinha to which he readily agreed upon.
Shiromani Akali Dal President (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also took to Twitter and expressed shock over the abduction and marriage of a Sikh girl in Srinagar.
“Shocked to learn that our Sikh daughter Manmeet Kaur was kidnapped and forcibly married to an elderly man of a different community in Srinagar. Have asked DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa Ji to immediately rush there & ensure justice is delivered to the victim family,” SAD chief Badal tweeted.


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