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Sacrilege incident in Sangrur; Amarinder blames 'divisive forces'

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

An incident of sacrilege was reported from Sangrur district where a 'bir' of the holy Guru Granth Sahib was found burnt at a local gurdwara.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh asked the state's Director General of Police to immediately identify and arrest the culprits behind the incident that allegedly took place on Saturday night.

He blamed "divisive forces" for the desecration, claiming similar attempts were made to fuel communal discord ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections as well.

According to police, along with the 'bir', the 'Palki Sahib' (palanquin) and 'Rumalla Sahib' (piece of cloth) were also found burnt in the gurdwara at Hathoa village in the district.

The chief minister warned of strict action against those responsible for the desecration will face the consequences of their horrendous actions.

The "deliberate act of mischief" was a part of the chain of similar events that had rocked the state in the run-up to the Assembly polls, he added.

The incident, coming days before Punjab goes to polls, had obviously been perpetrated with an eye on the Sikh vote bank, but this strategy had failed in 2017 and will fail again, he warned.

The SIT probing the 2015 sacrilege incidents had been tightening the noose against those responsible for the ghastly and dastardly act before the Akalis, supported by BJP, obstructed the process, Amarinder Singh pointed out referring to the shifting of SIT member Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh.

It was just a matter of days for the SIT to nail the guilty who had unleashed the wave of sacrilege cases back then, and were quite obviously trying to fan communal passions once again, with the same objective, he added.

Noting that his government had kept such cases under control for the last two years, the CM said that Saturday night's incident was a "crude attempt" by the divisive forces to take law and order into their hands.

He said security has been tightened at all religious places in the state to prevent recurrence of such an incident in the coming days, ahead of the Lok Sabha poll.

Notably, Amarinder Singh has been raising the issue of the 2015 sacrilege and police firing incidents during poll campaigning while vowing not to spare anyone including the Badals for allegedly trying to create communal tension.

After coming to power, the Congress government in Punjab had formed an SIT to probe the sacrilege and police firing incidents.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 12 2019. 19:11 IST