Another unidentified youth lynched in Punjab village over suspected attempt to sacrilege - Hindustan Times
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Another unidentified youth lynched in Punjab village over suspected attempt to sacrilege

Dec 19, 2021 03:42 PM IST

Earlier, there was a standoff between police and Sikh organisation over the custody of the youth who was kept in a room inside Gurdwara since morning

A day after a youth was beaten to death over an attempt to sacrilege in the Golden Temple, Amritsar, another unidentified youth, who is believed to be a migrant, was lynched by the Sikh activists at Nizampur village in Kapurthala on Sunday over the suspicion of an alleged attempt of sacrilege, in the presence of police. This was the second incident in the state since Sunday.

Kapurthala police and Sikhs groups protesting over the incident in Kapurthala. (File photo)
Kapurthala police and Sikhs groups protesting over the incident in Kapurthala. (File photo)

Earlier, there was a standoff between police and Sikh organisation over the custody of the youth who was kept in a room inside Gurdwara since morning. Sikh activists then went inside the room forcefully amid the scuffle with police and lynched the man. As per the initial details, the youth, believed to be in his 20s, had short hair and was wearing a red shirt. There have been no other traces of his identification so far.

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In the morning, senior police officials, including Kapurthala senior superintendent of police, Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh, and others, rushed to the spot where they were trying to strike a dialogue with Sikh organisations to hand over the accused. Heavy police deployment was in place outside the room where the youth was under custody to prevent the members of Sikh groups from entering the room forcefully. A top police official supervising the matter denied any matter of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib or other religious textbooks like Gutka Sahib and others in the Gurdwara.

Gurdwara manager Amarjit Singh alleged that the youth was in a bid of sacrilege and also disrespected the Nishan Sahib (a Sikh flag) inside the Gurdwara. They caught the accused during the wee hours as he managed to escape from the premises. “The youth was sent by someone from the New Delhi to attempt sacrilege for money, he confessed the same,” added Amarjit Singh.

The Sikh groups staged protests outside Gurdwara and demanded the custody of the youth as they wanted to punish him. They claimed that the respective governments failed to deliver justice in the sacrilege cases, especially in Bargari and other cases.

Police, however, said the man may have the intent of theft.

In a press briefing, Kapurthala SSP Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh, said, “as per facts gathered by the police, Amarjit Singh, manager of the Gurdwara, woke up at 4 am and saw a man inside the Gurdwara who fled the spot. Later, Amarjit sent his two sewadars (co-workers) who nabbed the youth. The Gurdwara manager and others thrashed the youth. The youth was wearing the jacket of Gurdwara students. It meant that the youth had the intention of theft.”

“The mob gathered after the video got viral and under the religious emotion, they killed the youth. The police tried their best to handle the situation. We will register the criminal case under the charges of murder against the accused who killed the youth,” said Khakh, reiterating that as per their probe and clues gathered from the spot, it looks like a case of theft and no sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs, was committed.

Khakh further said that there were one or two ID cards found which belonged to two local kids and were stolen.

On Sunday, a man, who allegedly tried to desecrate the Guru Granth Sahib inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple during the evening rituals on Saturday, was beaten to death by the devotees. The incident happened during the ‘paath’ of Rehras Sahib (hymn recited in the evening as per Sikh tenets). Giani Baljit Singh was reciting the hymns when a man rushed towards the holy book after jumping the railings and picked a ‘kirpan’. However, before he could do something sacrilegious, SGPC staffers got hold of him.

Acting Akal Takht Giani Harpreet Singh said that some agencies are behind these incidents in the season of elections. Government must expose the forces behind these conspiracies because the Sikhs will not tolerate such acts anymore, he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A staff correspondent, based in Jalandhar covers Doaba Region of Punjab. Reports about Punjab Police, Enforcement Directorate, politics, corruption, legal, rural areas, socio-economic issues and technical education besides having specialisation in the investigative stories.

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