Within 24 h of a youth getting beaten to death for allegedly committing sacrilege at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Sikh activists at Nizampur village in Kapurthala today took recourse to lynching again, thrashing to death another unidentified youth for his alleged sacrilege attempt at a gurudwara, in the presence of the police.
In a video of the incident that has gone viral, a Sikh man is seen thrashing the youth. A senior police officer said there was no proof of sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib or the Gutka Sahib, a religious book, at the gurudwara.
Police officials, including Senior Superintendent of Police Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh, rushed to the spot in the morning after the youth was caught by the people at the gurudwara. Cops directed them to hand over the youth and assured that the police will investigate the matter, but they did not relent.
Heated arguments ensued between the police officials and members of the Sikh community over the custody of the youth who had been detained in a room inside the gurudwara.
Even organisations of Sikhs staged a protest outside the gurudwara and demanded that the youth be handed over to them so they can “teach him a lesson” as they alleged the Punjab government had failed to punish the accused in the Bargari sacrilege case.
The police then entered the room forcefully, followed by Sikh activists, and in a scuffle that followed, the mob allegedly killed the youth with a sword.
Gurudwara manager Amarjit Singh alleged that the youth was trying to commit sacrilege of the Nishan Sahib (a Sikh religious flag) inside the gurudwara and that he went inside the premises searching for it. Singh said they caught him in the wee hours and claimed that he was sent by someone from Delhi.
The SSP said they were looking into the allegations. Briefing media persons, SSP Khakh said Singh woke up at 4 AM and saw a man inside the gurudwara. On being spotted, the youth tried to flee. Two sewadars (co-workers) sent by Singh caught the youth and thrashed him. “The youth was wearing a jacket worn by gurudwara students, relying on which the sewadars caught him. It indicated that the youth intended to commit theft,” the SSP said.
Describing the incident of lynching, the SSP said, “After the video went viral, a mob gathered. They killed the youth even as the police tried their level best to handle the situation. We will register a criminal case under charges of murder against those who killed the youth,” adding that the investigation so far indicated that no sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib was committed.
Even organisations of Sikhs contributed to the frenzy that led to the lynching. They staged a protest outside the gurudwara and demanded that the youth should be handed over to them so they can “teach him a lesson” as they alleged the Punjab government had failed to punish the accused in the Bargari sacrilege case.