The Ludhiana police have arrested an 18-year old youth for allegedly desecrating pages of Sikh holy texts — Sri Gutka Sahib and Sri Sanchi Sahib — and allegedly dumping them in paddy fields at Janshakti Nagar in Prem Vihar area of Ludhiana late on Monday.
Police said that after recording videos of the act, the youth himself informed the head of local gurdwara claiming that he had seen “two turbaned men on motorbike running away after desecrating the holy texts”.
However, during questioning by the police, he confessed that he had himself committed the act to “produce big and sensational news” for the online news portal which he had joined recently. Police said that the accused has revealed that he “wanted instant fame as a reporter by reporting a breaking and sensational news story”.
Ludhiana Police Commissioner Rakesh Agrawal said that the youth, Sewa Singh (18), has been arrested based on information received from Baldev Singh, president, Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sutantar Nagar, that torn pages of holy texts Sri Gutka Sahib and Sanchi Sahib were thrown in the paddy fields near ‘Jawaddi Waleyan Di Haveli’ in Janshakti Nagar of Prem Vihar area. While the 18-year-old had called the Sikh priest to inform about “two turbaned men” that he saw committing the act, the CCTV footage from the area revealed no men leaving the spot on a bike as claimed by the accused.
Agrawal said that the accused kept changing his statement and later confessed to having done the act himself.
“He had recently joined an online news portal ‘Punjab Star Daily-Sach Diyan Tarangan’ for which he had to send 3-4 news stories regularly. He planned that he would first create the sensational news himself, inform the gurdwara head and then report the breaking story for his web channel which will get him instant name and fame as a reporter. He had already filed 3-4 news stories previously but of them, only 1-2 were published so he was under pressure to report more stories,” said the police commissioner.
Agarwal added that the youth had joined a WhatsApp group of Guru Nanak Sewa Dal in which he interacted with an employee of this online web portal who encouraged him to become a reporter for them and start sending news stories. Police have recovered holy texts from the house of the 18-year-old which he had purchased from shops near the gurdwara.
On Monday, after allegedly tearing and dumping the pages of the holy text, the youth shot some videos which he wanted to edit and send to the channel, but before he could do so, he was arrested, said the Ludhiana police commissioner.
An FIR against the youth was registered under the Sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of IPC at Tibba police station. Police Commissioner Agarwal added that a team from Chandigarh reached Ludhiana Tuesday for forensic examination of the spot and the pages found from youth’s house.
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