CM at Golden Temple as another man is lynched in Punjab over ‘sacrilege’

Second such case in two days as Charanjit Singh Channi urges people to maintain peace and mutual brotherhood

Golden Temple
The Punjab government has formed an SIT under the deputy commissioner of police (law and order) to investigate the incident at the Golden Temple | File Photo

A second man has been beaten to death in Punjab over an alleged instance of sacrilege less than 24 hours after a similar incident at Amritsar’s Golden Temple.

Residents of Nijampur Village in Kapurthala District allegedly caught the man from a gurdwara early on Sunday (December 19). They said that he was seen “disrespecting” the Nishan Sahib (the Sikh flag) around 4am.

Though police reached the spot and took the man into custody, Sikh groups insisted that he be questioned in front of them.

The man was killed by the locals after a scuffle with the police.

Mobile phone videos from the spot showed the man being beaten with sticks. The police later took him to the hospital where he was declared dead.

The police chief of Punjab tweeted:

 

On Saturday evening a man from Uttar Pradesh was beaten to death after he allegedly attempted to commit sacrilege inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple. 

Also see: Two killed in Punjab over attempted sacrilege

The man jumped the golden grills inside the sanctum sanctorum, picked up a sword, and approached a priest who was reciting the holy Guru Granth Sahib.

He was caught by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee task force members. While being taken to the SGPC office, the angry crowd thrashed him badly and he later died, the police said.

On Sunday Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi visited the shrine and said some “inimical” forces may be involved in the incident in view of the upcoming assembly election. He urged people to maintain calm.

“I appeal to the Sangat that they should pay special attention to take care of religious places, temples and gurdwaras – and institutions of all religions. People should maintain peace and mutual brotherhood,” he said.

The CM said he was deeply hurt by the alleged sacrilege attempt, which was unfortunate and needed to be condemned. “If anyone has come with wrong intention, our intelligence agencies will try to nab and expose them. We will go to the bottom of the incident,” he added.

The CM was accompanied by his deputy, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, and senior officials.Earlier in the day, Randhawa held a meeting in Amritsar with the police commissioner. He said an SIT had been constituted under the deputy commissioner of police (law and order), which would submit its report in two days.

A case was registered against the unidentified man late on Saturday night under IPC Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 307 (attempt to murder), Police Commissioner Sukchain Singh Gill said. He said a footage obtained from cameras at the Golden Temple was being examined to collect information about the accused.

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