The Pakistan police on Monday initiated a probe into a Pakistani model’s bareheaded photoshoot for a clothing brand at the revered Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur following an Indian Sikh journalist’s criticism of the pictures for hurting the religious sentiments of the community.
Noting that the pictures have been uploaded on the social media, Indian Sikh independent journalist Ravinder Singh in a tweet highlighted the disrespect shown to the community and also tagged Prime Minister Imran Khan in his post.
“Modelling bareheaded for ladies’ attire, in the premises of Gurdwara Sri Darbar Sahib at #KartarpurSahib in Pakistan, by a Lahorite woman has [severely] hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs,” he said in the tweet.
Modelling bareheaded for ladies’ attire, in the premises of Gurdwara Sri Darbar Sahib at #KartarpurSahib in Pakistan, by a Lahorite woman, has several hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs. Further the pictures were uploaded on social media.@ImranKhanPTI @MORAisbOfficial pic.twitter.com/i5RX01kWGo
— Ravinder Singh Robin ਰਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ رویندرسنگھ روبن (@rsrobin1) November 29, 2021
Covering one’s head in a gurdwara is mandatory and considered as a way of showing respect for the revered place.
Reacting to his tweet, Azhar Mashwani, the Punjab chief minister’s focal person for digital media, said the matter had been “forwarded to concerned authorities for legal action”.
Shortly after, the Punjab police tweeted that they are investigating all aspects related to this incident and strict legal action will be taken against those responsible.
“Management of concerned brand & model are being investigated. Worship places of all religions are equally respectable,” it said in the tweet.
According to a report in the Dawn newspaper, the model’s photos were shared on the Instagram page of a clothing brand named Mannat Clothing, but were removed after the criticism.
Mashwani was quoted as saying in the report that police would first investigate the model and the brand’s role in the capturing of the photos and later register a case.
“The police are checking whether the model conducted the photoshoot on her own or the brand carried out the session,” he said.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet said “the designer and the model must apologise to Sikh community” over the photos.
“Kartarpur Sahib is a religious symbol and not a film set,” he tweeted.
Reacting to the whole controversy, the brand- Mannat Clothing- in an Instagram post apologised and denied that the pictures posted on their accounts were part of any photo shoot done by them.
“These pictures were provided to us by a third party (blogger) in which they were wearing our dress,” it said in the post.
“However, we accept our mistake that we should not have posted this content and we apologise to every single person who was offended by this,” it added.