Dawn – Punjab government to negotiate with Sikh community over alleged forced conversion of 19-year-old girl

Asif Chaudhry

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan, 30 August 2019. A high-level committee, headed by Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, has been constituted by the provincial government in order to negotiate with a 30-member committee formed by Pakistan’s Sikh community in relation to a case pertaining to the alleged forced conversion of a Sikh girl, it emerged on Friday.

According to a memorandum sent to inspector general of police (IGP) Punjab by the district police officer (DPO) of Nankana Sahib, a First Information Report (FIR) was filed in the Nankana police station on August 28 against six people who were accused of abducting and forcefully converting 19-year-old Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur.

The police subsequently traced the suspects to Lahore and detained one of them. Three of the suspects obtained pre-arrest bail while two others are at large, the memorandum said.

The police were subsequently contacted by Sheikh Sultan, Kaur’s advocate, who told them she had embraced Islam, was given the name Ayesha, and then contracted marriage with Mohammad Hassan, one of the main suspects, of her own free will.

Sultan further said that he had filed a writ petition in the Lahore High Court on behalf of Kaur against her family and local police, accusing them of “illegal harassment”.

The girl also submitted a written statement in the court, stating that she had converted to Islam and married Hassan of her own free will. She also accused her family of “wanting to kill her”. She is currently housed in Darul Aman, Lahore, as per the orders of an additional sessions judge.

The DPO, in his memorandum, attached the “relevant documentary and video proof of the nikah and the girl’s conversion to Islam”. Copies of the documents from the National Database and Registration Authority, which show that Kaur is 19 years of age, and the nikahnama were also attached.

Following the girl’s statements in court, the Sikh community has demanded that the police bring her back to her parents’ house irrespective of the conversion being forced or consensual.

The DPO informed the IGP that the Sikh community was “agitating against the incident and videos of family of the girl [were] also viral on social media and international media”.

“It is requested that concerned quarters may kindly be taken on board so that Sikh community could be engaged and pacified timely as the community has announced to protest if their demand is not honoured,” he wrote.

“It is pertinent to mention here that in the backdrop of India-Pakistan tension vis-a-vis [occupied] Kashmir, any such protest could damage image of the country internationally,” he added.

We should not dismiss the possibility that Jagjit Kaur really wanted to marry Mohammad Hassan
Man in blue

https://www.dawn.com/news/1502597/punjab-govt-to-negotiate-with-sikh-community-over-alleged-forced-conversion-of-19-year-old-girl

The Asian Age – Mystic Mantra: Nankana Sahib has a special place in Sikh history

Kulbir Kaur

New Delhi – India, 19 August 2019. Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, was born in 1469 at Talwandi of Rai Bhoe, now known as Nankana Sahib, a town in Sheikhpura district of Pakistan. Guru Nanak had spent the first 15 years of his life at Talwandi Sahib.

Rai Buler, the chief of Talwandi, was a contemporary of Guru Nanak and in fact, one of the first people to recognise the light of the divine in Guru Nanak. Once while he was tending a herd of cattle, the Guru lay down to rest under a tree and fell asleep. Rai Buler was surprised to see that the shadows of other trees had moved with the movement of the sun but not of the tree under which Nanak slept.

Similarly, on another occasion, Rai Buler received a complaint that the cattle Guru Nanak was in charge of had entered and damaged the crop of a farmer. Guru Nanak’s father was asked to pay for the damage but when they went there to calculate the losses, they found everything intact and there was no damage.

Rai Buler became a devotee of Guru Nanak and declared that the Guru was a saint and the honour of the village. The village was renamed as Nankana Sahib and the gurdwara built at the site where Guru Nanak was born is known as Gurdwara Janam Asthan or Gurdwara Nankana Sahib.

The place is dotted with sacred shrines associated with Guru Nanak. In addition to the main shrine, Gurdwara Janam Asthan, there is Gurdwara Patti Sahib, marking the place of Guru Nanak’s school. Gurdwara Bal Lila is the place where the Guru as a child used to play. Gurdwara Kiara Sahib marks the field which was reported as damaged by a farmer and no damage was discovered.

The place where the tree with the shade was found by Rai Buler is called Gurdwara Mal Ji Sahib. There is another important site where Guru Nanak had spent all the money given by his father to feed hungry sadhus, terming it as a sachha sauda, and to escape his father’s wrath, he had hidden himself under the tent (tambu) like tree, hence the name of the site as Gurdwara Tambu Sahib.

Gurdwara Nankana Sahib has a special place in Sikh history and on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee has organised an international nagarkirtan called “Kaal Taran Guru Nanak Aiya”.

A jatha (group) of 550 sangats was especially sent to Pakistan for this purpose. The nagarkirtan started from Gurdwara Nankana Sahib on July 25 and not only Sikh and Hindu followers participated in the procession, but even Muslim devotees followed it till the Wagah border.

The flower-decked palanquin of the Guru Granth Sahib was led by panj-piarias and it passed through the areas used to be populated by the Sikhs in pre-Partition India. To mark this historic moment, the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University (BGNU) at Nankana Sahib was laid by Sardar Usman Buzdar, Pakistani Punjab’s chief minister, who also planted saplings dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev.

The nagarkirtan, starting from Nankana Sahib, would pass through around 65 cities of India, covering almost 17 states and conclude after about 100 days at Gurdwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee will also organise an international seminar at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Kulbir Kaur teaches sociology at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi University

https://asianage.com/opinion/oped/190819/mystic-mantra-nankana-sahib-has-a-special-place-in-sikh-history.html

The Tribune – Visa denial upsets kin of Guru Nanak’s contemporary

Based in Pakistan, Rai Bular Bhatti’s descendants desire to visit Golden Temple (Harmandr Sahib)

G S Paul, Tribune News Service

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan, 04 August 2019. The descendants of Rai Bular Bhatti, a 15th Century Muslim landlord of undivided Punjab and a disciple of Guru Nanak Dev, are a dejected lot for not getting fulfilled their desire to visit the Golden Temple. Their application for furnishing visa formalities was repeatedly rejected by the Indian authorities.

Rai Saleem Bhatti (41), a lawyer at Lahore High Court and the 19th generation of Rai Bular Bhatti, said till date the visa could not be procured for the reasons best known to the Indian authorities.

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal confirmed that the programme could not be held due to non-availability of Bhatti family. “We will take up the matter with the Union Home Department for facilitating visa to Bhatti’s descendants,” he said.

The Bhatti family, despite being devout Muslims, has kept alive their ancestral links with Sikhism for the past several generations.

Rai Saleem Bhatti and his 11-year-old son Rai Waleed Bhatti visited Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib on the occasion of nagar kirtan dedicated to the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

The family still continued the legacy by contributing in every way for the wellbeing of people living in the area. The 16th generation, Rai Bashir Ahmed Bhatti, Rai Hadayat Khan Bhatti played important role in Pakistan politics too.

Rai Saleem Bhatti said his cousins Rai Sarvar Khan Bhatti and Rai Ahmad Khan Bhatti’s family had donated 10 acres at Kot Hussan Khan, 5 km from Nankana Sahib, for setting up Nankana Sahib Foundation.

The purpose was to generate jobs and revenue for the upkeep of Sikh shrines in Nankana Sahib. “We desire to get it revived and take up the matter with the Pakistan government,” he said.

His father, Rai Akram Bhatti, also a lawyer, wishes to strengthen Sikh-Muslim cordial ties by conducting Sikh pilgrimage to the holy shrines and invite them to his place.

“Our family owes my birth due to the blessings of Baba Nanak only. Sikh devotees from any part of the world who visit Nankana Sahib hold special place in our heart and we take it as a divine opportunity to serve them,” he said.

Guru Nanak’s father Mehta Kalu was a munshi at Rai Bular Bhatti’s estate. Rai Bular Bhatti, who owned over 36,000 acres, had donated half of it to Guru Nanak in late 15th century. “Bhatti had donated around 18,750 acres.

On some part of the land Gurdwara Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib and Gurdwara Bal Leela were built. The remaining was leased to locals. The land is now under the control of the Evacuee Property Trust Board, Pakistan,” he said.

SGPC to honour them

  • The SGPC wants to set up a portrait of Rai Bular Bhatti, a 15th Century Muslim landlord of undivided Punjab and a disciple of Guru Nanak Dev, in the Central Sikh Museum.
  • The programme was scheduled for May 5, 2018, but had to be deferred as Bhatti’s descendants were denied visa.
  • Rai Saleem Bhatti, a lawyer at Lahore High Court and the 19th generation of Rai Bular Bhatti, said till date visa could not be procured for the reasons best known to the Indian authorities.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/visa-denial-upsets-kin-of-guru-nanak-s-contemporary/813056.html

The Tribune – Sikh jatha in Pakistan, Nagar Kirtan tomorrow

Procession to start from Nankana Sahib, enter India via Attari border same day

G S Paul, Tribune News Service

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan, 30 July 2019. A jatha, comprising around 480 members, today crossed over to Pakistan from the Attari-Wagah border to be part of the “historic nagar kirtan” that will be taken out from Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak, on August 1.

It will be for the first time since Partition that such an event has been scheduled to take off from Pakistan.

The SGPC has initiated ‘akhand path’ at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib at 7.30 am today in the presence of SGPC chief secretary Dr Roop Singh, SGPC member Rajinder Singh Mehta and Golden Temple additional manager Ravinder Singh Rubi. The opening ardas was performed by Gurdwara Nankana Sahib granthi Bhai Daya Singh and the ‘hukumnama’ was delivered by head granthi Bhai Prem Singh.

Meanwhile, ‘Gurbani kirtan’ was performed by Sikh schoolgirls of Nankana Sahib. The ‘bhog’ of ‘akhand path’ will be performed two days later on Thursday upon which as the tradition goes, the Panj Pyaras would lead the nagar kirtan.

Indian jatha, led by SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal crossed over the border, newly appointed chief of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) Satwant Singh and general secretary Ameer Singh were there on the Wagah side to receive them. Later, they were escorted to Nankana Sahib under heavy security cover.

Prominent among those who accompanied Longowal included Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, Golden Temple head priest Giani Jagtar Singh, Nihang organisation Budha Dal chief Baba Balbir Singh, DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Patna Sahib management committee chief Avtar Singh Hit, senior Akali leaders Darbara Singh Guru, Hira Singh Gabaria and Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa.

Special buses were arranged to take the devotees from Wagah to Nankana Sahib. Amidst the recitation of “holy hymns of the Gurus and “Jo bole so nihal”, the devotees reached Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, after a two-hour drive escorted by police vehicles.

The DC of Nankana Sahib and local administration officials were there to receive the jatha. In view of security aspect, the shops were temporarily shut down.

Longowal said the ‘nagar kirtan’ would commence at around 9.30 am on August 1 from Nankana Sahib and enter the same day in India through the Attari-Wagah land route at 12 noon. It would further pass through 65 cities and 17 states before culminating at Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi in an approximate span of 100 days.

Longowal said it would be an occasion that would work as a conduit to help establish cordial ties between the two sides. “Looking at the enthusiasm of both the sides, I believe that this occasion will bring together the people of ‘Charhda Punjab’ and ‘Lehnda Punjab’. We were overwhelmed at the hospitality extended by the Pakistan SGPC and other supporting organisations,” he said.

Meanwhile, a devotee brought 10 saplings of chandan (sandalwood). He told that these would be planted on the pious land of Nankana Sahib. The SGPC also brought nagaras, Khalsa flags, religious literature and other instruments for the occasion.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/sikh-jatha-in-pak-nagar-kirtan-tomorrow/810384.html

Pakistan Today – Governor endorses condition on Indian Sikh pilgrims to carry dollars

Staff Report

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan, 21 June 2019. Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has supported a proposal, given by the Sikh community leaders that Indian Sikh pilgrims should be bound to carry dollars with them, instead of the Indian currency, while visiting their religious places in Pakistan.

He was addressing a press conference here on Friday, after visiting the DC office and Gurdwara Janamsathan in Nankana Sahib.

However, the governor added, the final decision in this regard would be taken by the finance advisor, in consultation with other stakeholders.

Sarwar said that whatever India do, we will complete the Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan within the given timeframe and apprise the world about the stubbornness of the neighbouring country. “India used to defame Pakistan through its lies in the past, but after the Pulwama incident, we exposed India on the diplomatic front before the world,” he added.

The governor said that only 3,000 visas were issued to the Sikh pilgrims at a time for participation in any religious ceremony in the past, but we have decided to award 10,000 visas in future, and all institutions were making a strategy to turn this proposal into a reality.

“We will provide fool-proof security to all Sikh pilgrims and a committee under the Lahore commissioner has been set up, which is working to make comprehensive arrangements for the yatrees.

“We are setting a target of an annual $3 billion in revenue by promoting religious tourism. On the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, visas would be provided to 10,000 Indian and one lakh non-Indian Sikh pilgrims for the first time in Pakistan’s history.

Historical residential building of Sardar Bhagat Singh will also be renovated and all projects in Nankana Sahib including renovation of the railway station will be completed before November,” he added.

Inspector General Police Punjab Captain (R) Arif Nawaz Khan said that names of criminals involved in murders, dacoity and ransom and other dangerous crimes should be enlisted in IBMS list so that they may be obstructed from fleeing to foreign countries whereas their CNICs should be cancelled keeping in close coordination with NADRA and FIA so that they could not move to other foreign countries after committing the crime.

He further said that cases of liceneced weapons used in criminal activities should be immediately sent to Deputy commissioners for cancellation of the said license and all DPOs should send a detailed report to Central Police Office of cases meant for cancellation of liceneced weapons sent to DC office within a week.

He further said that officers involved in abuse with a woman in Chishtian should be arrested within 24 hours and strict legal action should be taken against him without delay. IGP further added that a zero-tolerance policy against extortionists should be adopted to make them an example for others.

He said that in order to improve the environment of Police stations, DPOs under their supervision should distribute the tasks equally so that performance of officers and officials could be made better ending over the burden of work to staff.

He said that the officers and officials involved in misbehaving with citizens do not deserve any leniency and concession and the liable officers and officials should be prepared themselves for stern departmental actions.

IGP added that the alleged persons involved in child and women abuse and blackmailing do not deserve any concession and field officers should constitute special teams to get these anti-social elements punished so that social protection of children and women should be provided.

He furthermore said that timely promotion of officials on merit and seniority basis is the fundamental right of the force so promotion boards in sessions in all districts should be conducted to speed up the process of promotions and letters should be sent to officers in case of delay of ACRs. IGP expressed these views while he was giving directions to CCPO Lahore, all RPOs, all DPOs through a video link conference at central police office today.

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/06/21/governor-endorses-condition-on-indian-sikh-pilgrims-to-carry-dollars/

The Tribune – PSGPC approves Guru Nanak anniversary coins, stamps

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 16 May 2019. A Pakistan Sikh committee has approved the design for the commemorative coins and postage stamps which will mark Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary in November, according to a media report.

The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) on Wednesday said during a meeting that one side of the coin will have the image of Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib, while the other side will have the words Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the number 550, The Express Tribune reported.

The postage stamps, which will be worth Rs 8 and could be used commonly, will also have the image of Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib and the number 550.

The PSGPC expressed their satisfaction over the preparations made by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (EPTB). For the Sikh pilgrims who will come to the country from across the world makeshift tents will be set up in Nankana Sahib and could accommodate 25,000 pilgrims, the report said.

The year 2019 marks the 550th birth anniversary year of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, whose birthplace is Sri Nankana Sahib in Pakistan.

Last November, both India and Pakistan agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor to link the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak in Pakistani town of Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.

Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about 4 km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.

The corridor will facilitate visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Pakistan has committed to open the corridor in November this year on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

EPTB chairman Dr Amir Ahmed assured PSGPC officials that all arrangements will be completed in time for Guru Nanak Devji’s 550th birthday.

Sikh pilgrims from all over the world will be welcomed and provided accommodation and security, he said. He added that special trains will also be made operational for the pilgrims.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/psgpc-approves-guru-nanak-anniversary-coins-stamps/773976.html

Dawn – PM Khan kicks off tree plantation drive at Nankana Sahib, vows to protect Pakistan’s forests

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan, 09 February 2019. Prime Minister Imran Khan, while launching a spring tree plantation campaign at Balloki, Nankana Sahib on Saturday, said that Pakistan’s forests would be protected at all costs.

The prime minister planted a sapling at Balloki, where he was also briefed about the tree plantation drive.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Khan said that forest land leased out in Punjab should be retrieved, noting that forest cover in Pakistan is already very low as compared to the rest of the countries in the region.

He pointed out that there used to be large forests in Chichawatni, Mianwali and Changa Manga, which have all but disappeared now.

Speaking about the alarming rate at which Pakistan’s forests have been depleted, he said that Pakistan’s forests should be protected at any cost.

“70 % of Pakistan’s forests have been cut down in the past few years, which has created an imbalance in our environment,” Prime Minister Khan said.

“We are now going to allow builders to build higher buildings just so our cities can stop expanding [horizontally] and encroaching on our forests,” he said, adding that the health of Pakistan’s elderly population, as well as of children, is continuously declining “since the air we breath is getting more and more contaminated.”

“Our children do not have parks to play in anymore; all of those places have been taken over by concrete and cement, this needs to stop,” the prime minister said while stressing the need for rehabilitation of forests.

While addressing the crowd, Prime Minister Khan announced that his government will also create a wildlife reserve under Baba Guru Nanak’s name and that Nankana Sahib will also become home to the Baba Guru Nanak university.

Doing NRO is tantamount to treason, says PM Khan

“These days, there has been a lot of discussion about NRO. What is NRO? It is about forgiving convicts, not just small convicts but the big ones,” the premier said, adding that the NRO has twice caused historical damage to the country.

Because of the two NROs, one favouring Nawaz Sharif and the other benefitting Zardari, “those in power felt that it was okay to steal and do as much corruption as you want”, Khan said.

Whoever thinks that the PTI government will give anyone an NRO, they should realise that doing any such deal will be tantamount to high treason, Imran Khan said.

“We will not leave and forget anyone who has looted the country,” he said. It is happening for the first time in a democratic setup that a “man comes from jail and becomes the chairman of parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman and then summons the accountability watchdog [which has arrested him]”.

“We have tried our best to let the parliament function in a peaceful manner, but no more compromises will be made with any other ‘corrupt’ person,” the prime minister said.

Imran clarified that the sitting government did not differentiate between its own minister and leaders of the other parties when it comes to accountability against corruption.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1462784/pm-khan-kicks-off-tree-plantation-drive-at-nankana-sahib-vows-to-protect-pakistans-forests

DNA India – Pakistan backing Khalistani sympathisers: India

DNA Correspondent

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan, 24 November 2018. India has raised an alarm over Khalistani sympathisers finding a voice in Pakistan during the visit of Sikh pilgrims to religious shrines on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday lodged a protest with Pakistan over the alleged harassment of Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad and the denial of access to Indian Sikh pilgrims visiting the shrines across the border.

The protest comes a day after the two countries agreed to develop a corridor on their respective side of the border to link a historic Sikh shrine in Kartarpur in Pakistan.

The MEA said there were reports of attempts made during the pilgrims’ ongoing visit to “promote secessionist tendencies” with an aim to undermine India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

There were reports that pro-Khalistani banners were shown to the Indian pilgrims.

“Pakistan has been called upon to take all measures to not allow its territory be used for any hostile propaganda and support for secessionist tendencies against India, keeping in mind the commitments made under the Shimla Agreement, 1972 and endorsed in the Lahore Declaration, 1999,” the MEA said in a statement.

Despite having been granted prior travel permission by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, the Consular officials of the High Commission of India in Islamabad were harassed and denied access on November 21-22 at Gurudwara Nankana Sahib and Gurudwara Sacha Sauda,” the MEA said in a statement.

The officials had no choice but to return to Islamabad without performing their diplomatic and consular duties vis-à-vis Indian pilgrims, it added.

New Delhi said this is the third consecutive visit of Indian Sikh pilgrims when Pakistan has prevented the Indian High Commission officials from meeting the Indian nationals on the pretext of security.

https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-pakistan-backing-khalistani-sympathisers-india-2688695

Sikh24.com – 549th Birthday Celebrations: Pakistan grants visa to 1227 Sikh devotees – 403 rejected

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 20 November 2018. The Pakistani High Commission has granted visa to 1227 Sikh devotees out of the total 1630 aspirant of celebrating the 549th birthday of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Nankana Sahib while visa applications of 403 others have been rejected.

It is learnt that the Sikh Jatha will depart for Pakistan tomorrow.

Sharing the development with media, the SGPC’s chief secretary Dr. Roop Singh said that the Pakistani consulate has hurt the Sikh sentiments by rejecting the visas of Sikh devotees in large number.

He added that the Pakistan government should increase the visa quota for the Sikhs residing in India keeping in view the upcoming 550th birthday celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. “Sikh pilgrims can collect their passports from the SGPC’s headquarter at Amritsar Sahib on November 20” he informed.

Dr. Roop Singh further informed that the Sikh pilgrims will reach at Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib on November 21 and will pay obeisance at Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Mandi Chuhadkana on November 22.

“After celebrating the 549th birthday at Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib on November 23, the Sikh pilgrims will have glimpses of various other historic Sikh shrines in Pakistan and will come back to India on November 30″ he added.

“SGPC members Amarjit Singh Bhalaipur and Bibi Swarn Kaur will head the Sikh pilgrims this year, while in-charge Karanjit Singh will manage the administrative affairs of the Sikh pilgrims” he said.

https://www.sikh24.com/2018/11/20/549th-birthday-celebrations-pakistan-grants-visa-to-1227-sikh-devotees-403-rejected/#.W_Qy_OJRfIU

Dawn – Two Rescue 1122 workers suspended over alleged sexual assault of Sikh girl in Nankana Sahib

Bilal Ahmed

Nankana Sahib – Panjab – Pakistan, 29 October 2018. Two Rescue 1122 workers have been suspended over their alleged involvement in the suspected sexual assault of a Sikh teenage girl at Nankana Sahib on October 27, a district emergency officer said on Monday.

The officer, Akram Panwaar, said that a high-level committee has also been created to investigate the incident and once the crime was proven, strong departmental action would be taken against the rescue officials.

According to the medico-legal examination report, no tears, bruises or laceration were found in the examination of the victims body. However, the girl will be taken to Lahore today for further tests.

The results of the tests will arrive in a minimum time frame of two months, said Investigative Officer Basharat Ali, adding that the suspects would be kept in custody on physical remand for further investigation.

According to the first information report (FIR) registered with the City Nankana Sahib police by the victim’s family, the 15-year-old girl, who was also mentally challenged, went missing on Sunday.

The family looked for her everywhere but found no trace.

At around 1:30 am, the family members of the girl found a Rescue 1122 ambulance parked by the roadside for long time which looked suspicious. When probed further, the found both the suspects committing the crime with their daughter.

The FIR added that when the victim’s family made noise, the suspects drove the ambulance away, threw the victim near a sugar mill on Nankana Road and escaped.

A spokesperson for the district police on Monday said that the suspects had been arrested after a case was registered against them in the City police station.

The spokesperson added that an investigation was being launched on the complaints of the Sikh community.

He added that all requirements to bring justice will be undertaken.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari also took notice of the incident on Sunday, saying: “Abuse of vulnerable citizens will not be tolerated. Was forwarded a case of abuse of a differently-abled Sikh girl in Nankana Sahib. FIR has been registered and the SHO informed us they have arrested two persons in the case”.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1442151/two-rescue-1122-workers-suspended-over-alleged-sexual-assault-of-sikh-girl-in-nankana-sahib