Man lynched in Golden Temple after alleged sacrilege attempttext_fields
A man who allegedly attempted to seize the holy sword kept in front of the Guru Granth Sahib at the Golden Temple in Amritsar was beaten to death by an enraged mob according to Punjab police reports. The issue has caused a flare up of tensions in Punjab ahead of the assembly elections which are already stoking public and political fervour.
"This evening during prayers, a man jumped the fence and entered the enclosed area. The congregation was offering prayers and bowing down," Parminder Singh Bhandal, the Deputy Commissioner of Police of Amritsar, told NDTV.
"The man, about 20 to 25 years of age who had a yellow cloth tied on his head jumped the fence... the people inside held him and escorted him out to the corridor where there was a violent altercation and he died," he said.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi came on Twitter to lambast the alleged perpetrators of the sacrilege attempt and said that a full police enquiry was being ordered into the incident.
"CM Charanjit Channi strongly condemned the most unfortunate and heinous act to attempt sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Harimandir Sahib during the path of Sri Rehras Sahib....CM directed state police authorities to thoroughly probe into entire matter to zero in at the underlying motive and real conspirators behind this dastardly act," the official Twitter handle of the Punjab Chief Minister tweeted.
Police are scouring CCTV cameras in the area but so far it appears the perpetrators acted alone. This is not the first time that a person has attempted sacrilege on what is considered the holiest relic of Sikh culture as police fired on crowds protesting sacrilege at Behbal Kalan in Faridkot district in 2015 - a key issue which drove the resignation of former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Akali Dal patron and five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal described "the heinous attempt to commit sacrilege at Sachkhand Shri Harmandar Sahib as deeply shocking and exceedingly painful."