Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has issued a stern warning to hate-mongers in Punjab if they create trouble for Christians. Sidhu was speaking at a Christmas celebration held by the state government in Amritsar.
Sidhu warned on Thursday that anyone "staring down" Christians in Punjab would have their eyes gouged out. Speaking in Punjabi, Sidhu said: "Jehda vi tuhade val aakh chak ke vekhu ga, us di aakh kadh devange (If anyone stares you down, we will gouge their eyes out)," according to Indian Express. The Congress government-organised Christmas celebrations are held in Amritsar every year.
Sidhu's warning to hate-mongers comes few days after reports of fringe right-wing groups threatening to disrupt Christmas celebrations in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In Aligarh, a group called the Hindu Jagran Manch has warned schools against celebrating Christmas, saying they could do so "at their own risk".
Addressing the people, Sidhu said that all the communities in Punjab live peacefully and every person has the right to propagate and obey any religion. The right to religious freedom is part of the Indian Constitution. We all are brothers and it is our duty to protect your rights. My government has promised that each community will be given free and fair environment to celebrate their religious festivals. Sidhu said that the doors of the Golden Temple are open to the people of every religion.
There is no difference in the Constitution of the country, on the basis of caste, creed, caste or religion, it guarantees equal opportunities for all. We promise that the state government will not allow anybody to spoil the peaceful atmosphere.