AMRITSAR/CHANDIGARH: In almost a repeat of Saturday’s events, where devotees and SGPC guards thrashed a man to death while he attempted to commit sacrilege at the Golden Temple, another man was lynched over accusations of similar crime in Punjab’s Kapurthala district.
Punjab DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyaya confirmed to The New Indian that this was the second such incident in last 24 hours and the “violator was killed” following his “attempt”.
He did not clarify on identity of the “violator” and accused among the mob who killed the man in Sunday’s incident. The latest incident took place in Nizampur village in Kapurthala district in which a gurdwara caretaker Amarjit Singh said that he spotted a youth desecrating the Nishan Sahib, the Sikh flag in early hours of Sunday.
The two incidents that took place in a span of 24 hours have triggered furore in Punjab over lawlessness as well as fear over safety of religious sites as well as locals.
Already, a clash of ego and war of words between Punjab CM Charanjit Channi and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu have led to replacement of DGP Iqbal Preet Sahota with a 1986-batch Siddharth Chattopadhyaya over the probe into 2015 Behbal Kalan firing incident and sacrilege of similar nature and magnitude. It’s unclear with Chattopadhyaya would continue to remain in the role depending upon whether UPSC considers his name in the panel in its December 21 meeting a after recommendations by the state. His tenure is less than six months but the date of letter sent by Punjab government would play a crucial role in determination of Chattopadhyaya’s stint.
Earlier on Saturday, a 23-year-old man died following an altercation between him, SGPC employees after he entered the shrine by jumping over a metal grill and tried to pick up a kirpan (ceremonial sword) kept in front of the Sikh holy text Guru Granth Sahib.
“People inside held him and escorted him out to the corridor where there was a violent altercation and he died,” Amritsar ADCP Parminder Bhandal told the media.
His body was covered in a piece of cloth lying inside the premises of the Golden Temple.
Amritsar Police said that this was the fifth attempt of sacrilege in Punjab and overall second killing during last 48 hours.
Punjab Chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi had condemned the incident on Twitter and said he has directed the police to “thoroughly probe into the entire matter to zero in on the underlying motive”.
Former Punjab deputy CM and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal alleged a conspiracy, saying he found it difficult to believe there was involvement of one person and there could be more than one behind such an incident.
The Sunday’s incident is now being probed with Amritsar police launching a mega investigation.
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