London, UK: British Sikhs are convening an inter-faith debate as part of their protests against a proposed meat processing plant near a prominent gurdwara in the city of Bradford.
Councillors recently permitted food firm Pakeezah to convert a car workshop near Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara into a wholesale meat plant as an expansion of its existing business in the northern England city.
However, Sikhs opposed the plans over fears that the smell of meat would waft into the gurdwara.
Senior community leaders have now invited leaders of other faiths to a specially convened meeting to discuss the issue on Friday.
According to the Bradford Telegraph, the Board of Representatives of Bradford Gurdwaras has sent invitations to the meeting to prominent faith leaders and organisations, including the Bishop of Bradford and the Bradford Council for Mosques.
The Sikhs want to debate the planning permission on the ground that it could set a precedent for other such plants near religious buildings.
“The board supports Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara to seek further legal advice against the decision and we urge the owners of Pakeezah to withdraw their application in recognition that their proposal is most disrespectful to the gurdwara and thereby hurtful to Sikhs everywhere,” said Nirmal Singh, chairman of the board.
Pakeezah director Tariq Haq, who won approval to convert the disused car repair workshop on the Percival Street into a modern meat plant earlier this month, said work had started on the extension.
“They are not going to see what’s happening and it’s not going to affect the temple in any way, shape or form,” he said.
Source: The Tribune