India on Monday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan against attempts allegedly being made to convert a historic Sikh Gurudwara into a Mosque at the Naulakha bazaar in Lahore. New Delhi “expressed its concerns in the strongest terms”over an incident where an attempt was allegedly made to convert the Gurudwara ‘Shahidi Asthan’—the site of the "martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh ji" in 1745—into the Masjid Shahid Ganj in Lahore.
India said the Gurudwara “is a place of reverence and considered sacred by the Sikh community”and that “this incident has been viewed with grave concern in India”.
In a statement, India said, “A strong protest was lodged with the Pakistan High Commission today on the reported incident whereby Gurudwara ‘Shahidi Asthan’, site of martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh ji at Naulakha Bazaar in Lahore, Pakistan has been claimed as the place of Masjid Shahid Ganj and attempts are being made to convert it to a mosque.”
New Delhi added, Gurudwara Shahidi Asthan Bhai Taru Ji is a historical gurudwara where Bhai Taru Ji made supreme sacrifice in 1745. The Gurdwara is a place of reverence and considered sacred by the Sikh community. This incident has been viewed with grave concern in India. There have been calls for justice for the minority Sikh community in Pakistan.”
The MEA further said, “India expressed its concerns, in strongest terms on this incident and called upon Pakistan to investigate the matter and take immediate remedial measures. Pakistan was also called upon to look after the safety, security, well-being of its minority communities including protection of their religious rights and cultural heritage.”
Meanwhile, a Pakistani Government official of the Evacuee Trust Property Board there has apparently submitted a complaint to Pakistan Police authorities in Lahore to take action against a local resident of Lahore for trying to instigate people there against the Pakistani local Sikh community.