Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, November 9
Though the incident of tearing of a holy book created panic, it had also brought to the fore camaraderie among the members of different communities.
While Ajit Singh, granthi of a gurdwara, was seen putting his hand into a drain to collect the torn pages of the holy book, area resident Kawarjatinder Singh Bajwa, along with BJP leader Mintu Sharma and former Congress councillor Raju Thapar, were holding a meeting with different organisations requesting them to maintain calm.
Residents of Deep Nagar, following different religions, came out of their houses and volunteered to collect the torn pages.
Police officials and officials from the administration, who were initially jittery following the incident, were enthused to see residents following different religions standing as one in the time of crisis.
“You nab the people, we are with you. There will be no dharna and no road block. We do not want to spread fear that will ultimately affect the business,” said a group of residents.
There was an equal participation of members of the Sikh community living in Deep Nagar and surrounding areas when Commissioner of Police Paramraj Singh Umranangal conducted a meeting at Division No. 4 with the local residents.
Narinder Singh Malhi, area councillor from the BJP, thanked Ajit Singh Granthi for bringing the matter to the notice of the police and volunteering in collecting the torn pages of the holy book.
Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal and Deputy Commissioner of Police Narinder Bhargav expressed their gratitude to the leaders of all parties, including Parveen Bansal, Ravinder Arora, Narinder Makkar, Shivtar Singh Bajwa, Mintu Shamram, Raju Thapar and Parveen Dang, and religious organisations for helping the police in controlling the situation.
“A holy book, be it of any religion, is respected by all. I was equally pained to see the torn pages of Bhagavad Geeta as I was on seeing Guru Granth Sahib. But today, we made it a point that we will not fall prey to the forces who were trying to divide us,” said Kanwar Jatinder Singh Bajwa, area residents, who initiated the collection of the torn pages, held a meeting to control the rising tempers.
Bajwa also complemented the role of ADCP-Joinder Singh and SHO of Division No. 1 Dharampal taking serious note of the gravity of the situation and reaching the spot soon after the incident.
Both officers took proper care of religious practices while collecting the torn paces, said Bajwa.
Kudos to police
Management by Commissioner of Police Paramraj Singh Umranangal and DCP Narinder Bhargav helped control the situation. The police took all necessary measures and controlled the situation before it could take a serious turn. Some mischief mongers even tried cheap tricks to flare the situation but failed badly. The police have identified those who could vitiated the atmosphere. Residents volunteering in collection of the torn pages were encouraged and given the task of identifying the elements who were trying to create tension for their cheap political gains.
At some placed, the police stopped the sweepers from burning garbage and rummage through it to find the torn pages.
One of the residents standing near the Silver Spoon marriage palace in Deep Nagar demanded the city should observe a bandh on November 13 or 14, but they were soon snubbed by a group of men.
“What you think the bandh will do? Try to apply your mind. We should not be playing into the hands of forces working to breach the peace in Punjab. The economy of the state has been badly hit due to such incidents. For the past one month, there has been no business due to sacrilege incidents leading to road blocks,” said the group of residents.
Detained children say they didn’t know the book “belongs to Gods”
What turned out to be a playful childish act could have turned into a tragedy. The DCP, Narinder Bhargav, advised the residents to be extra cautious with regard to the religious books. The four children, who were rounded up for tearing the religious book, knew little that their act would become a serious religious issue. Sources said the four boys told the police that they were not even aware that the book they were tearing was of religious importance. Their parents, who do menial jobs to eke out a living, were seen repenting over their children’s act and said their wards were blissful and barely understood the meaning of religion and the significance of books. The four boys told the police that by throwing the torn pages in the air, they were emulating the people who threw currency notes during a wedding.
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