Akal Takht, the top Sikh body, on Thursday extended its support to the Muslim groups that have been protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act for weeks.
A delegation led by Delhi Minority Commission chief Zafarul Islam Khan met Giani Harpeet Singh, the chief priest of Akal Takht, in Amritsar where the latter assured the Sikh community’s support to the protests.
The chief of Akal Takht, also known as ‘jathedar’, said there is a sentiment of fear and insecurity among the minorities and the Sikhs are bound to stand by the oppressed.
“Sikhs are bound by their principles to stand for the victim and against injustice. We had received a similar request from another group of the Muslim community. There is a sentiment of fear and insecurity among minorities and it is not good for the country,” he said after the meeting.
The chief priest asked the Muslim leaders to also seek the support of Hindu groups against the Citizenship law.
“I have appreciated their efforts to meet Sikh leaders. At the same time, I have suggested them to meet Hindu leaders and discuss the issues in the same way as they have discussed with me,” the Akal Takht chief said.
“Many factions within the Hindu community also share similar concerns of insecurity and fear, and I can only hope that all will come on one stage to discuss the problem to maintain communal harmony and peace in India,” he added.
Mr Khan said the meeting with the Sikh gave them hope.
“We have come here to gain support against the attempt of making India a nation based on just one religion. We have been told by Akal Takht jathedar that Sikhs have always stood against oppressors…They have given us hope,” he said.
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) eases the path for non-Muslims in the neighbouring Muslim-majority nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become Indian citizens. Critics fear that the CAA, along with a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), will discriminate against Muslims.
There have been widespread protests across the country against the enactment of the act. Reports say that at least 20 people have been killed in the protests against the act across the country so far.