Sikhs barred from Pakistan gurdwara

A human rights panel of Pakistan has described as "scandalous" the barring of Sikhs from a gurdwara in Lahore.

Updated: Jul 20, 2011, 17:53 PM IST

Islamabad: A human rights panel of Pakistan has described as "scandalous" the barring of Sikhs from a gurdwara in Lahore.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan noted with concern the barring of Sikhs and called the restriction by Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) shocking and a violation of fundamental rights, Daily Times said in a report Wednesday.

HRCP said in a statement Tuesday: "While extremist element`s barring religious minorities from their worship places in Pakistan no longer surprises anyone, but the ETPB`s decision to deny Sikhs entry into gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh in Lahore on the eve of Shab-e-Barat is scandalous."

After a group of men claimed that the gurdwara was built on the site of burial place of a Muslim saint, the ETPB allowed both communities to observe their religious rituals.

The media report said the police at the gurdwara prevented the Sikhs from congregating to commemorate an eighteenth-century saint July 16 as the Shab-e-Barat was to be observed two days later.

"The ETPB has no right to ask members of a religious faith to postpone rituals of their faith inside their places of worship, or to give precedence to religious rituals of one faith over another," said the HRCP statement.

IANS