Kejriwal visits Golden Temple, appeals for peace

Amritsar, Oct 24 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday paid obeisance at the Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, here and said “no one could live in peace after insulting holy scriptures”.

Stating that he prayed for the “return of peace” in Punjab, which is witnessing protests in some parts over the desecration of the Sikhs’ holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, Kejriwal said “I also appeal to the people of Punjab to maintain peace.”

Kejriwal was visiting Punjab to meet the families of the two youths killed in police firing while protesting against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in Faridkot district.

Terming the desecration of the holy book as “painful”, the chief minister told reporters that it was a “wilful act” to disturb peace in Punjab.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader condemned the police action, saying it was wrong to use force against people who were protesting peacefully against acts of sacrilege.

He said it was the responsibility of the Punjab government to arrest the real culprits behind the incidents of desecration, saying no innocent person should be slapped with “false cases”.

“Golden Temple has great spiritual power and I prayed before the almighty for early peace and normalcy to get rid of current turmoil in Punjab,” he said, after paying obeisance at the Sikh shrine.

Having paid obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Golden Temple, he also paid obeisance in front of the Akal Takht (the highest Sikh Temporal Seat).

Kejriwal was honoured with a Siropa (robe of honour) and presented with a set of Sikh religious books.

Later, he visited Kotkapura to meet the families of the two people killed in police firing.

Police have so far arrested six people, mostly working in Sikh shrines, in connection with the sacrilege incidents.

Punjab police have alleged a “foreign hand” behind the incidents of sacrilege even as the Centre has sought a report from the Punjab government on the matter.

Kejriwal’s visit to Punjab assumes significance as the AAP is eying the 2017 assembly polls and has re-structured its unit in the state. The AAP won four seats in the 2014 Lok Sabaha elections. It recently suspended two of the MPs for “anti-party” activities.

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