Kapurthala Gurdwara victim remains unidentified; no lynching case filed yet
Two days after a mob allegedly killed a man over sacrilege in Punjab's Kapurthala Sunday, no lynching case has been registered. The man was likely attacked with swords for allegedly disrespecting the Nishan Sahib (a religious flag) at a gurdwara in Nizampur village. As of now, the police investigation is reportedly focused on establishing the identity of the deceased.
Why does it matter?
- Two lynching cases involving sacrilege had been reported from Punjab over the weekend: one from Amritsar's Golden Temple and the other from Kapurthala's Nizampur.
- Both killings have raised questions on the law and order situation in Punjab ahead of assembly polls early next year.
- Meanwhile, the ruling Congress party in Punjab is facing flak for being too lenient in cases involving sacrilege.
Priority to establish deceased's identity: Police
The police are currently prioritizing establishing the deceased's identity within 72 hours to conduct his post-mortem and last rites, Kapurthala Senior Superintendent of Police Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh told The Indian Express. The deceased's photographs have been shared with all police stations nationwide for identification. The police will also preserve the required samples to conduct a DNA test later.
Lynching case to be probed under same FIR: Police
SSP Khakh said the lynching case would be investigated under the same FIR registered under Section 295a (hurting religious sentiments) on the complaint of granthi Amarjit Singh on Sunday.
Victim had eight deep cuts on body: Doctor
The neck and body parts of the Kapurthala victim had over eight "deep sharp cuts," Dr. Sandip Dhawan, senior medical officer at the Kapurthala Civil Hospital, told TIE. These cuts were likely inflicted by swords, Dr. Dhawan said. However, the exact number of injuries can only be known after conducting a post-mortem, he added.
Granthi's role being investigated: Police
The police reportedly believe a video featuring granthi Amarjit Singh instigated members of Sikh organizations. He had shared multiple videos accusing the victim of sacrilege on social media. This likely fueled the mob to lynch the man in the presence of the police. The police are probing the role of the videos in the lynching, SSP Khakh said.
What did the granthi say in videos?
In one of the videos, the granthi is heard saying that a man was caught committing sacrilege. In another video, he said the man could not reach where the Guru Granth Sahib (a holy book) is kept. However, he reached the adjoining room and could have committed sacrilege, he said. He also appealed to Sikh organizations to assemble at the gurdwara to punish him.
Police makes U-turn during press conference
Incidentally, during a press conference Monday, the Punjab Police had backtracked on their own claims about an FIR after a phone call. Kapurthala Police chief GS Dhillon had first said an FIR had been filed in connection with the killing. He then left the room to attend a phone call. When he returned, he said no FIR had been registered specifically for the killing.