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Tension in Jalandhar after gurdwara officials keep sacrilege accused in ‘custody’ for hours

The police acted with alacrity and persuaded the gurdwara officials and Sikh organisations to come to the table. They later said two persons have been arrested for sacrilege.

It is learnt that the accused had entered the gurdwara with an intention to steal. (Representative/Express photo by Praveen Khanna)
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Tension prevailed in Jalandhar throughout the day on Monday following an incident of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha of Mansoorpur village on Sunday night. Police were on their toes and had a tough time defusing the tension as the gurdwara officials and Sikh organisations had nabbed one of the alleged accused but refused to hand him over.

As police did not want a repeat of the lynching that took place in Kapurthala’s gurdwara last year, they acted with alacrity and persuaded the gurdwara officials and Sikh organisations to come to the table. Finally, by Monday evening, they managed to end the stalemate and got the custody of the accused (Budhu).

Police later said two persons have been arrested for sacrilege. It is learnt that the accused had entered the gurdwara with an intention to steal. They were seen spitting tobacco near the holy book. They were also accused of trying to damage the pages of Guru Granth Sahib. Apart from that, they were also accused of trying to break open the ‘golak’.


When gurdwara officials came to know about the incident, the members of Sikh organisations and the local residents came to the shrine and nabbed one of the two accused.

The accused were later identified as Suresh (35) of Banaras and Budhu (35) of Jaunpur, who are migrant labourers and had been to Punjab from Varanasi to transplant paddy. They have been living in Dosanjh Kalan village here, police said.

Rajinder Singh, one of the Granthis of the gurdwara, while talking to the media said that the keys of the shrine remain with him. But on Monday, he found the locks of the gurdwara broken. He then informed local people, Sikh organisations and police.

“One could easily gauge that the accused had indulged in hooliganism inside the gurdwara and shattered things around the holy book,” Rajinder Singh said.

SSP Jalandhar (Rural) Swarandeep Singh said now that they got the custody of both the accused, the situation is under control. A case has been registered under Section 307 (attempt to murder), 452 (house trespass), 295 A (to hurt the religious sentiments), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and other relevant sections of IPC.

He said that police are investigating further.


Meanwhile, the incident drew strong condemnation from various political leaders who demanded strict action on the matter.

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On his Twitter handle, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal strongly condemned the sacrilege incident. “Strongly condemn the heinous act of #sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji at Gurdwara Singh Sabha in village Mansurpur. I urge CM @bhagwantmann to direct @DGPP DGPPunjabPolice for taking immediate & stringent action against the culprits. This painful act is unpardonable,” Badal tweeted.

Congress MLA from Bholath, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, shared the video of sacrilege on his Twitter handle and urged the CM to take immediate action in this regard.

Congress MLA Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary visited the gurdwara and demanded a thorough investigation into the incident, saying that it could be a sinister conspiracy to disturb peace and harmony in the area.


Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring also condemned the incident. “We strongly condemn the incident of sacrilege in village Mansurpur near Goraya. Culprits must be accorded exemplary punishment. This is a deliberately provocative act which is unforgivable,” Warring tweeted.

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BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa also condemned the incident. “Deeply pained to see sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji…A man spat tobacco after chewing it on the seat. @AAPPunjab is deliberately giving signals to anti-social elements to indulge in communal acts & destroy peace. The worrisome situation in Punjab!,” Sirsa tweeted.

First published on: 06-12-2022 at 09:32 IST
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