In a daring and planned dacoity,armed men robbed a gurdwara in Sector 20,Chandigarh,on Saturday night. They broke an almirah and made off with Rs 1,07,000,cheque books,ATM cards,gurdwara stamps,donation receipt books and all other records and documents. They also damaged about 13 of the 16 CCTV cameras installed in the shrine and switched off the rest.
Later,the police succeeded in arresting five accused.
Around 12 midnight,some men with faces covered entered the gurdwara,switched off all lights and forcibly locked security guard Pawanjit Singh and Granthi Satwant Singh in a room after taking away their mobile phones. About 10 men along with four gurdwara sevadars,who were already present inside the gurdwara,broke the CCTV cameras and stole the money and documents. They set free the guard and granthi before leaving and threatened them not to reveal anybodys identity. One of the robbers was allegedly carrying a rifle while the others had swords and sticks.
After the robbers left,the security guards informed the police and a case was registered at the Sector 19 police station. Investigating officer Jagdeesh Chand said,Former gurdwara president Harcharan Singh,sewadar Natha Singh,former granthies Gursewak Singh and Lakhwinder Singh,and kirtan performer Sukhjit Singh have been arrested.
Inderpal Singh Mann,president of the Gurdwara Administrative Committee,said it was a planned robbery to demoralise committee members and visitors. He said he had expelled two of the four arrested sevadars,Gursevak Singh and Lakhwinder Singh,for misconduct and malafide intentions on Friday. However,they had requested to stay back for a day and were already present in the gurdwara along with Sukhjit Singh and Natha Singh when the incident occurred. Former gurdwara president Harcharan Singh was also removed after elections about three months back,as he was not initiating any developmental work and was allegedly threatening some visitors,added Inderpal Singh.
Committee members alleged the switching off of CCTV cameras clearly indicated the involvement of the four arrested sevadars. Natha Singhs son and grandson were also allegedly involved in the robbery; they were on the run.
According to police,some Nihangs were brought by one Kanwaljit Singh Khalsa on the directions of Harcharan Singh to commit the crime. Investigation of the case is in progress.