UK-based Sikh body
condemns Modi’s
security breach in Punjab

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LONDON: UK-based British Sikh Association has condemned the security breach which occurred during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Ferozepur in Punjab earlier this week.

Lord Rami Ranger CBE

“The Prime Minister is a democratically elected Head of the Government and represents the entire nation, not just one State. Therefore, no one should undermine the authority of a leader who has to steer the country. It is a sad indictment of the security arrangements surrounding his visit that allowed a handful of an unruly mob to hamper the visit planned to exercise his democratic right to meet and greet the public,” Lord Rami Ranger CBE, chairman of the body, said in a statement.

The Association also stated that the nation was waiting to see what message the Prime Minister had for the people of Punjab, whom he holds in the “highest esteem.”

“No other Prime Minister has done as much for the people of Punjab as him. He opened the Kartarpur Corridor to honour the religious feelings of the people. He has gone out of the way to promote the teachings and lives of Sikh Gurus in the world through the Indian diplomatic missions,” the chairman said.

He recalled that the Prime Minister celebrated the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh faith Guru Nanak Dev Ji. In the same way, the 350th birth anniversary of the tenth Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the 400th birth anniversary of the ninth Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was acknowledged and celebrated through the efforts of Modiji, he said. “No other Indian Prime Minister has shown such reverence to the Sikh Gurus,” the association noted.

The British Sikh Association highlighted that Prime Minister has revoked the three farm bills, as a mark of respect for the Punjab farmers.

“If anything, the people of Punjab should have shown their respect and gratitude to the Prime Minister for taking back those contentious bills that too on the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji,” he said in the statement.

The Sikh association also said that the “misguided” people who disrupted the visit should realize that the Prime Minister had come to give more benefit to their State.

“By hampering the visit, they have impeded the development of Punjab as a whole,” he said, urging the leaders of Punjab to extend an unequivocal apology to the Prime Minister and show their utmost remorse for the way he had to cut short his visit.

The statement also noted that the Prime Minister does not depend on Punjab for his strength in Parliament. “Punjab depends on the Prime Minister’s goodwill for its future development. Being a border State, Punjab needs the central government to help fight terrorisrn and the drug epidemic unleashed by India’s neighbour with dire consequences to future generations,” it added.

“Sadly, a great opportunity has been lost by the people of Punjab to show their admiration to the Prime Minister for his respect for the people of Punjab and their Gurus. I hope lessons will be learned, and the leaders and the people of Punjab will remember that there is no future for any disloyal citizen in India. We are one and must always stand as one,” it added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy was stuck for 15-20 minutes due to a road blockade in Punjab’s Ferozepur. The Prime Minister, who was travelling by road, had to call off his event in Ferozepur on Wednesday.

PM Modi, who had to return to Bathinda airport on Wednesday due to a security breach during his visit is learned to have told state government officials at the airport, “Apne CM ko thanks Kehna, ki mein Bhatinda airport tak zinda laut paaya”.

Following the incident, BJP alleged that the Congress government in Punjab had deliberately created a scenario to harm Prime Minister Modi. (ANI)