CHANDIGARH: Seriously concerned about reports of security threats to the Dalit Sikhs in Shillong, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has decided to rush a four-member team, headed by Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, to the Meghalaya capital.
The team will make a ground assessment of the situation in the troubled areas of Shillong and extend all possible help to the Sikh community there, an official spokesperson said on Sunday.
Amarinder has directed the team, which has MPs Gurjit Aujla and Ravneet Bittu and MLA Kuldip Singh Vaid as its other members, to leave for Shillong on Monday morning.
Amarinder has also sought the Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s cooperation in facilitating the team’s visit, and ensuring their access to the areas from where reports of tension or trouble are
coming in, said an official.
Amid reports of simmering tension, Amarinder has urged Sangma to provide full protection and safety for the Sikh community and their religious institutions in the state, said an official.
Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma called up Amarinder on Friday night to assure him of the
safety of the Sikh community and their religious institutions in the state following communal clashes.
Sangma also assured Amarinder that there was no damage to any gurdwara or other institutions belonging to the Sikh minority in Meghalaya. Amarinder expressed concern over the developments and hoped
the situation does not escalate further, said an official.
“The Meghalaya CM said he was personally monitoring the situation to ensure that there is no further trouble or incident that could trigger fresh tensions,” an official added.
The Chief Minister’s decision to send a team to Shillong was triggered by reports that, despite the
Meghalaya Chief Minister’s personal assurance, the situation was still not under control and had the potential of escalating further, added the spokesperson.
Amarinder has offered all possible help to the Meghalaya government in ensuring the security of the Dalit Sikhs, whose ancestors were reportedly brought to Shillong during the British era. He said, if necessary, the Centre should intervene to defuse the communal tensions in which the Sikhs in Shillong are caught.
It all started after an argument between a Khasi bus driver and a Dalit Punjabi woman on Thursday afternoon in Bara Bazaar locality of Shillong.