Another unidentified youth, believed to be a migrant, was lynched by Sikh activists at Nizampur village in Kapurthala on Sunday over suspicion of an alleged attempt at sacrilege, in the presence of police, a day after a youth was beaten to death in the Golden Temple, Amritsar, for an attempt to sacrilege. This was the state’s second occurrence since Sunday.
There had previously been a standoff between police and Sikh organisations over the youth’s custody, who had been held in a room inside the Gurdwara since the morning. During the altercation with police, Sikh activists forcibly entered the room and lynched the man. According to the first information, the young man was in his 20s, had short hair, and was dressed in a red shirt. So far, no more evidence of his identity has surfaced.
Senior police officers, including Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh, the senior superintendent of police in Kapurthala, and others, raced to the location where they were attempting to reach an agreement with Sikh organisations to give up the accused in the morning. To prevent members of Sikh groups from entering the room forcefully, a large police presence was stationed outside the room where the youth was being held. A top police official in charge of the investigation denied any sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib or other holy textbooks in the Gurdwara, such as Gutka Sahib and others.
Amarjit Singh, the Gurdwara manager, claimed that the youth attempted sacrilege and defiled the Nishan Sahib (a Sikh flag) within the Gurdwara. They apprehended the accused in the early hours of the morning after he managed to flee the premises. “The teenager acknowledged that he was sent by someone from New Delhi to commit desecration for money,” said Amarjit Singh.
Sikh groups conducted rallies outside the Gurdwara, demanding the youth’s custody in order to punish him. They alleged that their governments failed to bring justice in the sacrilege instances, particularly in the cases of Bargari and others.
A man was beaten to death by worshippers on Sunday after allegedly attempting to violate the Guru Granth Sahib inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple during Saturday evening ceremonies. The incident occurred during Rehras Sahib’s ‘paath’ (hymn recited in the evening as per Sikh tenets). Giani Baljit Singh was chanting hymns when a guy sprang over the railings and grabbed a ‘kirpan’ from the sacred book. Staffers from the SGPC apprehended him before he could do anything sacrilegious.