Man accused of 'sacrilege' beaten to death at Golden Temple
A young man was beaten to death by a mob over alleged sacrilege at the Golden Temple in Amritsar Saturday evening. The man had jumped into the inner sanctum where the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, is kept. He also tried grabbing the sword kept with the book. He was apprehended by members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and worshippers.
- The incident has sparked religious tensions shortly ahead of the Punjab Legislative Assembly elections in February-March 2022.
- The ruling Indian National Congress in Punjab faces criticism for being too lenient in cases involving sacrilege.
- There have been several outrageous cases of sacrilege in Punjab in recent years.
- The Guru Granth Sahib is considered the 11th guru by Sikhs.
Witnesses reportedly said the man jumped into the sanctum sanctorum during the daily evening prayers, which are broadcast every day. He was apprehended and escorted out where violence broke out, Amritsar Deputy Commissioner of Police Parminder Singh Bhandal said. The man was then beaten to death. He was 20-25 years old and was alone, according to Bhandal.
The police are looking at footage from all CCTV cameras to ascertain how the man entered the temple, who was with him, and where he came from. The man was from Uttar Pradesh, the news agency PTI reported. Bhandal said his team is on alert and investigating the case thoroughly. An autopsy of the man will be conducted soon.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi strongly condemned the "most unfortunate and heinous act," the CM's Office said in a statement. CM Channi has directed state police authorities to conduct a thorough probe and trace the "real conspirators behind this dastardly act." He also assured the full support of the government to the SGPC President.