Pakistan Sikhs join protest

Hundreds protest in solidarity with Indian counterparts over rival sect leader.

    One person has been killed in the clashes so far [AFP]

    Bishen Singh, a leader of Pakistan's small Sikh community said he and other Sikhs had gathered to "express solidarity" with Indian Sikhs.

    Since the clashes erupted in India, Sikh protesters have repeatedly blocked roads, clashed with Dera supporters and marched through the streets of Punjab's cities brandishing traditional swords and daggers, blades that Sikhism calls for all its followers to carry.

    The Dera sect is a nonprofit spiritual organisation that works on social issues across the Punjab and is comprised of people of several religions but led by Sikhs.

    The group has hundreds of branches, called deras.

    Sikhs make up less than two per cent of India's 1.1 billion people and Punjab is the country's only Sikh majority state.

    The Sikh homeland of Punjab was partitioned between India and Pakistan after independence in 1947.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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