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India SGPC To Send Delegation To Kashmir


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
The Shiromani Gurudawara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) is to send a delegation to the Kashmir Valley to meet members of the Sikh community following anonymous letters asking them to embrace Islam or face dire consequences, an official said on Tuesday. A delegation of the SGPC, Amritsar, led by its president Avtar Singh Makkar, was scheduled to visit the valley Aug 20. But the plans were rescheduled after the community leaders in Kashmir said the SGPC team's arrival in Srinagar could be "misinterpreted and complicate the situation".

Makkar and his colleagues would now be visiting the valley in the next few days, sources close to the SGPC told IANS.

The SGPC leaders met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday.

Sikhs in the Valley have been feeling unsafe after some letters and posters of threat were issued there, asking them to join anti-India protests, embrace Islam or quit Kashmir.

A majority of the Muslim community and its mainstream and separatist leadership in the valley have described the letters as the "handiwork of miscreants".

There are about 60,000 Sikhs in the valley, the largest minority in the valley of more than 5.5 million people.

Kashmiri Hindus or Pandits fled the valley en-masse in 1990s. More than 350,000 of them fled the valley and are settled in many cities and towns around the country, including Delhi. There are now less than 2,000 of them left in Kashmir.