One more lynched in Punjab over ‘sacrilege’

Theft likely motive in second case in Kapurthala: police.

December 19, 2021 04:04 pm | Updated 09:58 pm IST - Kapurthala/Amritsar

A Sikh guard stands holding a spear as devotees arrive to worship at the Golden Temple, in Amritsar on December 19, 2021.

A Sikh guard stands holding a spear as devotees arrive to worship at the Golden Temple, in Amritsar on December 19, 2021.

A day after a man was beaten to death over an alleged attempt to commit sacrilege in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple in Punjab’s Amritsar, another incident of a man being killed by the angry mob occurred on Sunday in Kapurthala over another attempt of desecration.

A man, who is yet to be identified was killed over an alleged sacrilege attempt on the Nishan Sahib (Sikh flag) at a gurdwara at Nijampur village in Kapurthala.

Also read: RSS condemns Golden Temple ‘sacrilege’ incident

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has announced that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will probe the incident of alleged sacrilege and lynching at Amritsar on Saturday.

Possible theft

The Police, however, said the initial probe indicates that no sacrilege was committed and the case could be that of theft. Kapurthala’s Senior Superintendent of Police Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh meanwhile said initial investigation reveals that there has been no sacrilege committed in Nijampur.

“The manager of the gurdwara, Amarjeet Singh saw a man inside the gurdwara early on Sunday and got suspicious as he tried to flee. The man was then caught by two ‘sewadars’ (co-workers) and thrashed. Later, several people gathered there and as emotions ran high, the man was killed. The deceased man was wearing a jacket of gurdwara students, which indicates the possibility of theft,” he said.

“We are in the process of identifying the man. We will procure his DNA samples. The deceased has suffered sharp injuries in his head and body. We are probing the incident from all angles and will take necessary legal action against the accused who killed the youth,” said Mr. Khakh.

Punjab’s officiating Director General of Police Siddharth Chattopadhyaya said in a tweet: “I have taken serious note of the unfortunate incidents in Amritsar and Kapurthala. Any attempt to violate the communal harmony in the State will be dealt with a firm hand. Stern action will be taken against all those disturbing the law and order in Punjab.”

SIT probe

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the Golden Temple incident, which would present its report within two-days.

Mr. Randhawa, who also holds charge of the Home Ministry termed the incident as very unfortunate, saying the police will get to the bottom of it.

“During preliminary investigation, it has been revealed that the accused entered in the Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) complex at 11:30 a.m. and he stayed and was there till late evening, which indicates that the accused had come with a target. The CCTV footage of markets adjoining Sri Darbar Sahib was also being scanned to ascertain that was there anyone else with him. We will probe the entire incident jointly with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC),” he said.

He added that the accused has not been identified so far and his post-mortem is being conducted shortly. The Police have booked the deceased man under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of India Penal Code (IPC) because ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ is believed to be a living entity, Besides Section 295-A of the IPC has also been evoked which includes deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

Security tightened

Mr. Randhawa also issued directions to the Police to strengthen round-the-clock security around all gurudwaras, temples, mosques, churches and other religious places. He said that CCTVs should be functional in the complexes where the Guru Granth Sahib is placed beside other religious scriptures in all religious places.

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