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Posted at: Oct 20, 2015, 1:41 AM; last updated: Oct 20, 2015, 1:41 AM (IST)DESECRATION ROW

SAD ‘activist’, granthi among five arrested for sacrilege

The unrest in the state refuses to die down as series of protests choke roads

Those who desecrated religious books

  • A granthi (priest) and his wife have been arrested for allegedly damaging religious books in Nijjarpura village in Amritsar
  • A SAD ‘activist’ and a sewadar have been held for allegedly tearing out pages from a ‘bir’ in Ghawadi in Ludhiana
  • A sewadar has been taken into police custody for reportedly desecrating the Guru Granth Sahib in Kohrian village in Sangrur
SAD ‘activist’, granthi among five arrested for sacrilege
The accused, Balwinder Kaur (face covered), in police custody in Ludhiana on Monday; and (inset) granthi Jagdish Singh, another accused. Tribune Photos

Tribune News Service

Amritsar/Ludhiana/Sangrur, October 19

The police today arrested five persons for alleged desecrating religious books in various parts of the state.

In Amritsar, the rural police arrested a granthi (priest) and his wife for allegedly damaging the 'gutkas and pothis' in Nijjarpura village in Jandiala near here. The accused have been identified as Jagdish Singh and his wife Lakhwinder Kaur. The granthi reportedly admitted to have committed the crime for cheap publicity.

A special investigating team has also been formed to investigate the sacrilegious incidents at Nijjarpura village (Amritsar rural) and Bath village in Tarn Taran. It would be headed by DIG border range, Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh. It also includes SSP (Amritsar rural) Jagdeep Saini and Tarn Taran SSP Manmohan Sharma.

Lok Nath Angra, IG, border range, said the granthi identified as Jagdish Singh of Nangli village informed the police control room about the incident following which Jandiala police station SHO rushed to the spot. The accused told the police that several persons entered the shrine and tore the pages of the holy books. “During the probe, he admitted to his act of sacrilege while stating that he along with his wife had torn the pages of gutkas and pothi,” said Angra. Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, DIG, said the accused “committed this sinful act to gain cheap publicity”.

Ludhiana:In Dehlon, two persons have been arrested for allegedly desecrating the Guru Granth Sahib at Ghawadi on Sunday. The police claimed the accused, Balwinder Kaur and Sikandar Singh, had also been charged with misguiding the police and public and trying to destroy the evidence of the crime.

Uneasy calm prevailed in the region after the complainants of Ghawadi sacrilege incident turned out to be the main suspects.

Balwinder, who is baptised, has been serving at the Gurdwara Bhagat Ravidass at Ghawadi for over two decades. He allegedly committed the act in the early hours on Sunday and later concocted the story that some miscreants had desecrated the holy book. Sikandar Singh, regular sevadar at the gurudwara, was also found guilty of concealing facts and destroying evidence.

During investigations, Balwinder confessed that she tore the pages and misguided the people. Investigations further revealed that Balwinder was reportedly a local SAD leader and her son had been president of the Gurdwara Management Committee for two terms.

Sangrur:The police arrested Hardev Singh (40), a sewadar in the Kohrian village gurdwara, for allegedly tearing nine pages out of a ‘bir’ on October 14. Senior Superintendent of Police Pritpal Thind said the accused, who is a resident of Chhahar village, had confessed to the crime. Dirba Deputy Superintendent of Police Manjit Brar said Hardev, who is a baptised Sikh, committed the act out of professional rivalry.

Life comes to standstill

Torn religious posters trigger protest

Patiala: Protesters on late Monday evening blocked the Patiala-Rajpura road after some unknown persons allegedly tore religious posters of a minority community. Till the filing of the report, roads leading to Chandigarh were blocked while the police rushed to the spot in Rajpura to control the situation. Senior police officers confirmed that some religious posters were damaged in Rajpura, following which members of a particular community raised slogans and blocked traffic. — TNS

Make way for farmers: Village panchayats

Faridkot: Village panchayats today asked the protesters to make way for farmers taking their produce to mandis. There are dharnas being held at Bargari, Behbal Kalan, Panjgrain Kalan, etc., bringing life to a standstill. On the farmers’ request, the panchayat of Panjgarin Kalan village asked the protesters blocking Moga-Kotkapura road to give passage to the farmers. — TNS

Rumour mongers spread panic

Ludhiana: Rumour mongers are having a field day as tension has gripped the state. They are spreading rumours through Whatsapp and other online tools. There have been fabricated news of communal clashes, Sikh activist Surat Singh Khalsa’s death, etc. Khalsa’s son Ravinderpal Singh said, “I have to clarify everyday that my father is still alive. It appears some anti-social elements are deliberately spreading such rumours for cheap political gains.” — TNS

RSS cancels Dasehra event

Ludhiana: The RSS has decided to cancel “path sanchalan” (march-past of RSS workers) in the state on the occasion of Dasehra. The decision has been taken in the wake of ongoing protests in the state. Yash Giri, Ludhiana regional general secretary, said: “We are deeply pained over the ‘bir’ desecration incidents. Keeping in view the security scenario in the state, the ‘path sanchalan’ has been cancelled.” He said other programmes such as “shastra puja” (worship of weapons) and sammelan would be held on the occasion. — TNS

Pro-Khalistan slogans raised in Moga 

Rode (Moga): Raising pro-Khalistan slogans, a group of Sikhs staged a protest, carrying a huge poster of late Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, outside his native village at Rode in Baghapuarana sub-division of the Moga district and blocked the Moga-Kotkapura national highway on Monday. “The Badals should respect democracy and feel the pulse of people. They must resign immediately and dismiss the state legislative assembly to pave the way for fresh assembly elections,” said a protester. — TNS

Don’t hold ‘akhand path’ on roadsides: Akal Takht

Amritsar: The Akal Takht on Monday took a serious note of the instances where Guru Granth Sahib is being installed on the roadsides or tractor-trolleys during the ongoing protests in the state. As per a statement released here, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said it was not appropriate to hold an “akhand path” in such a manner. He cautioned the Sikh Sangat not to hold “path” on the roadsides and instead organise it either at gurdwaras or their residences. — TNS


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