Punjab Minorities Commission meets with DGP to bolster security for christmas celebrations

Christmas 2021 gathering in Ludhiana, Punjab. (Photo: Courtesy of Shireen Bhatia)

In a crucial meeting held on November 24 in Chandigarh, Dr. Subhash Thoba, a member of the Punjab Minorities Commission, met with Director-General of Police (DGP) Law and Order, Arpit Shukla to discuss and strategize security measures for the upcoming Christmas festival and associated Shobha Yatras (tableau) as per media reports.

Dr. Thoba, underlining the universal significance of Christmas, stressed the need for enhanced security measures around churches state-wide. With Christmas festivities approaching, he urged the police department to ensure a robust security presence to safeguard the celebrations and the Shobha Yatras conducted during the festive season.

Expressing concerns over past criminal incidents targeting the Christian community in Punjab, Dr. Thoba emphasised the necessity for heightened security arrangements. He specifically pointed out an incident in Amritsar earlier this year that had a profound impact on the sentiments of the Christian community. The incident had seen Nihang’s (an armed Sikh warrior order) attack a Christian congregation at Rajewal village of Amritsar district on May 21, 2023.

In response to these concerns, DGP Arpit Shukla reassured the gathering of a proactive approach to ensure the security of churches during the Christmas period. He promised to address pending cases related to the Christian community promptly, signalling a commitment to justice and the protection of minority rights.

The meeting, which was also attended by prominent community figures such as Professor Emmanuel Nahar, John Kotli, Baldev Randhawa and others, showcased a collaborative effort to create a secure and inclusive environment for the Christmas celebrations. The stakeholders emphasised the importance of fostering communal harmony and ensuring that everyone can participate in the festivities without fear or hindrance.

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