The main accused of the recent vandalism at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan has been arrested and has been charged with sections relating to the Prevention of Terrorism Act. A top official gave this information on Monday. Geo News reported that the main accused, Imran Chishti, was arrested on Sunday.
Last week, a group of around 150 angry Pakistanis assembled outside the Nankana Sahib gurdwara. Their leader Imran Chishti claimed his family had been targeted because his brother had eloped with a Sikh girl who had converted to Islam. He demanded justice for his family and threatened to raze the gurdwara and evict all Sikh families from the area. Listen in (language Punjabi):
After Imran Chishti’s self-shot video above turned viral, he released yet another video, apologising for the incident in a bid to defuse the anger directed at him or under pressure from the Imran Khan government that was embarrassed internationally due to the incident of violence.
Gurdwara Nankana Sahib is a place near Lahore where Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru was born. It is also called the birthplace of Gurudwara. According to media reports, a violent mob threw stones at the gurdwara on Friday. The police team had to intervene to bring the situation under control.
A digital media official of the chief minister of Punjab tweeted, “Imran Chishti, the main accused in the Nankana Sahib incident, has been arrested… an FIR has been lodged at Nankana Sahib police station. He further said that Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act imposed on him is a non-bailable section. A picture has been shared in this tweet in which Imran is seen in lockup. Multimedia journalist with UrduNews[dot]com Shiraz Hassan shared a video of Imran Chishti:
While journalists and human rights activists had condemned the act of vandalism, when the local police of Punjab, Pakistan, finally arrested Imran Chishti, they said it was “too little, too late”.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday, breaking his silence on the issue, condemned the incident and said that it is against his’ thinking and the government will not tolerate those involved at all. On Saturday, leaders of various parties in India condemned the attack on Nankana Sahib and called it ‘cowardly and’ shameful.
A Sikh man, unrelated to the gurdwara incident, who was visiting Pakistan from Malaysia for his wedding, was killed in what appears to be a case of hate crime within 24 hours of the vandalism of Nankana Sahib.