The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee on Tuesday claimed that Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir were being forced to take part in the protests in the state and raise pro-Pakistan slogans. SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar wrote to Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh, Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, saying the state of the Valley was worsening and Sikhs – a “negligible minority” in Kashmir – had been calling for help, according to The Indian Express.

Makkar wrote: “Sikhs are being forced to come out of their homes and professional establishments to participate in the protest against India and raise pro-Pakistan slogans. Sikhs have become prisoners in their own homes in Kashmir.” He added that the organisation, which is responsible for maintaining gurdwaras, had assisted Kashmir during the floods last year. “Sikhs should get similar support from Kashmir in this hour of need,” the letter read.

The situation in Kashmir will be debated in Parliament on Wednesday after the Centre agreed to the Opposition’s demand. The Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal (United) all called for a Rajya Sabha discussion on the Valley, which is now under curfew for the 33rd straight day.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “We don’t want to accuse the government on the situation, rather we are ready to help control the situation there. Innocent women and children are dying. Your security forces are dying. Why are you shying away from debate?”

They also called for pellet guns to be replaced, a delegation to be sent to Kashmir and an all-party meeting to be convened in Delhi in a few days, PTI reported.

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