Morinda, Panjab—The Punjab Police has secured the judicial custody of a 32 year old villager who has admitted to committing sacrilege against the Eternal Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji at the Udhampur Nalan village Gurdwara last month.
Punjab Police SHO Jarnail Singh informed UNITED SIKHS that on 24th Aug 2011 they arrested 32 year old Avtar Singh, who is a follower of a Muslim sage whose burial place or ‘samadh’ is a place of worship in the village, which has no Muslim residents.
“We rounded up all the men in the village to question them and Avtar Singh admitted that he committed the sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji so that his Muslim sage’s following would grow,” SHO Jarnail Singh told UNITED SIKHS.
On the rainy night of 12th/13th Aug 2011, five Saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the eternal Guru of the Sikhs, were desecrated after they [were] removed from the Gurdwara at Udhampur Nallan, a small peaceful village near Chandigarh, and thrown in a nearby disused well along with other religious scriptures and the Chaur Sahib ( fly whisk). This was discovered by local Sikh women who had come to clean the Gurdwara at dawn, when they saw the unlocked entrance door to the Darbar Sahib, where the congregation gathers to pray in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. They then noticed that the Saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji were missing. They alerted the Sarpanch (village head) and the Gurdwara president who gathered the villagers to look for the Saroops. When the rain subsided, the Saroops were found in a nearby disused well along with other missing items. The Saroops were removed from the well and after conducting a religious ceremony of Ishnaan they were restored to the Gurdwara before final rites were performed on 14th August 2011 at Goindwaal Sahib. You may watch a video about the incident recorded by UNITED SIKHS during a visit to the village soon after the incident at http://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedSikhsTV#p/u/0/TcWcykrT_Yw
The suspect Avtar Singh led police to the spot where he had dumped the amplifier system that he had stolen during the sacrilege because he did not want an announcement to be made in the village the next day. He also led police to the blade that he used to cut the lock that the police recovered after a finger-tip search.
“We will apply for an extension of judicial custody for Avtar Singh on 10th September after which we will charge him for various offences including an offence under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, for hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs,” said SHO Jarnail Singh.
“This beadbi (sacrilege) would not have happened if there was parchar (teachings) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in villages,” said Dr Suba Singh Principal, UNITED SIKHS Community Affairs advisor and renowned Sikh scholar.
“We are all guilty of this sacrilege and Sikh institutions whose duty it is to spread the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji have to ask themselves what they should do differently to stem the growth of ‘samadh’ worship in villages,” he added.
UNITED SIKHS has petitioned the Punjab Human Rights Commission to ensure that serious offences under section 153 A and B are also investigated as these incidents are capable of undermining national integration and affect harmony in the community, ” said Mejindarpal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS legal director. You may read the petition at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/docs/PHRCPetitionFiled21Aug2011.pdf