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23-year-old held for sacrilege attempt at Patiala temple

In the purported video of the incident that surfaced on social media, the man was seen climbing the enclosure of the temple and reaching the place where the idol of the goddess is placed, said police.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 25, 2022 8:17:47 am
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said that his party has been repeatedly warning against conspiracy by outside forces to spread hatred

A 23-year-old was arrested Monday for an alleged sacrilege bid at the historic Kali Mata temple in Patiala.

In the purported video of the incident that surfaced on social media, the man was seen climbing the enclosure of the temple and reaching the place where the idol of the goddess is placed, said police.

Talking to The Indian Express, SP (City), Patiala, Harpal Singh said, “The man was identified as 23-year-old Rajdeep Singh, a resident of Nainakot village in Patiala district. He first held a woman in the Kali Mata temple and was pushed away by her husband. He then jumped inside the area housing the Kali Mata idol and went on to hold the idol.”

He added: “We are investigating the matter. A case under sections 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) has been registered against him at Kotwali police station.”

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Political leaders across party lines condemned the incident and expressed fear of communal hatred being spread by vested interests ahead of the state Assembly polls.

In a tweet, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi wrote, “Today around 2.30 pm, a person arrived at Sri Kali Mata Mandir in Patiala and climbed on the threshold where the Idol of Sri Kali Mata Ji was installed. Following this, he was caught and handed over to the police.”

He added: “Some vested interests are continuously trying to destabilise the social harmony of Punjab in view of the upcoming elections but I will not let them succeed in their malicious motives.”

Former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said, “Repetitive attempts to disturb peace in Punjab will not be tolerated. I urge @ECISVEEP to take strict action so that the atmosphere in the state is not disturbed.”
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said that his party has been repeatedly warning against conspiracy by outside forces to spread hatred.

In a tweet, he said: “We feared and warned against conspiracy by forces from outside Punjab to spread communal hatred among Hindus and Sikhs shrines. Worst fears coming true. Let us all stay united against them to preserve peace and communal harmony.”

While also mentioning the sacrilege bid at Golden Temple last month, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal called the Patiala incident a part of “conspiracies to spoil the atmosphere in Punjab”.

“The attempt of sacrilege at Shri Kali Mata Mandir of Patiala is highly condemnable. The
accused should be given strict punishment,” said Kejriwal in a tweet.

Punjab BJP leader Subhash Sharma was also among the leaders who condemned the sacrilege bid at the Patiala temple.

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