Sikhs demand reconstruction of Guru's shrine in PoK

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Patiala, Nov 8: Sikhs of the Kashmir valley have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to initiate diplomatic efforts with the Pakistan government for the reconstruction of the historic Gurdwara of sixth Sikh Guru, Hargobind located in Naloochhi village near Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The Sikhs have claimed that the gurdwara in PoK had been converted into a police line. Sarwan Singh, president, Central Committee All Jammu and Kashmir Refugees said here today that a six-member delegation led by him visited Muzaffarabad (PoK) from October 9 to October 23. Talking to mediapersons, he said that a formal letter of their demand would be given to the Prime Minister in due course. He also appealed to the Punjab government and the SGPC to use their good offices for the reconstruction of the gurdwara.

The native village of Sarwan Singh is Kotli in district Muzaffarabad and at the time of partition he migrated to India. He said all the delegation members found that Gurdwara had been converted into the police lines of Muzaffarabad.

The other delegation members, who visited the place, were Gajinder Singh, Saran Singh, Rajinder Singh, Kulwant Singh and Kartar Singh. Kartar Singh, whose great grandfather, Suba Singh was in charge of the Gurdwara in 1831 said the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Kanwar Sher Singh visited the Gurdwara and paid obeisance.

The Maharaja offered and transferred 100 bigha land in the name of Gurdwara along with other offerings, he added.

The Sikhs demanded that the Government of Pakistan and PoK should give back the land and building to the Sikhs and the Gurdwara should be reconstructed. During their visit to PoK, they had made a similar demand to the officials there.

UNI

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