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Feud erupts after Congress leader Kamal Nath attends Sikh religious event

A row broke out over the presence of Congress leader Kamal Nath at a Sikh religious gathering in Indore, where kirtan singer Manpreet Singh Kanpuri was apparently referring to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots after Nath left the venue and knocked out the organizers.

A video surfaced on social media in which outraged Kanpuri expressed his dismay at organizers congratulating political leaders on the religious program.

He made an oblique reference to the anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Kanpuri did not directly mention Kamal Nath.

The incident took place on Tuesday during a religious event organized on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti.

Nath, head of Congress Madhya Pradesh unit, former BJP MP Krishnamurari Moghe and others attended the event hosted at Khalsa College.

According to eyewitnesses, the organizers handed mementos to these politicians, delaying the kirtan (devotional songs) program by at least 30 minutes.

After Nath left the venue, Kanpuri lashed out at the organizers from the stage.

‘What principles are you talking about? You’ve been burned by tying up. But you don’t fix anything. What kind of politics do you want to engage in?’ said Kanpuri in Punjabi.

He calmed the members of the public who were shouting religious slogans. “They have no conscience,” he said.

The kirtan singer said he will not visit Indore again.

The Delhi Supreme Court in January had asked a special investigative team to file a status report on a plea for action against Congress leader Kamal Nath over his alleged role in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Meanwhile, the state interior minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narottam Mishra called the incident “shameful and extremely sad”.

“Just as demonic forces in ancient times blocked yagnas of sages and seers, more or less the same behavior was observed in the Indore program. What else can be expected from the accused who were involved in the 1984 genocide?” he asked.

The Home Secretary appealed to Kanpuri to reconsider his decision not to visit Indore again.

State BJP spokesman Neha Bagga claimed that Nath attended the program to “rub salt on (Sikhs) wounds”.

On the other hand, the chairman of the media department of the state congress, KK Mishra, told PTI that the developments after Kamal Nath’s visit to the Khalsa College program were “sponsored by some BJP people”.

He called the BJP’s allegations against Kamal Nath regarding the anti-Sikh riots “completely unfounded”.

“After these riots, Kamal Nath has won the Lok Sabha elections five times. This is a great proof and rebuttal of Narottam Mishra’s allegations against Kamal Nath,” Mishra added.

He said that every Indian has the right to pray before Guru Nanak and the local Sikh community had no objection to Nath attending this program.

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