A man was beaten to death Saturday at Darbar Sahib in Amritsar after he attempted sacrilege in the main sanctum of Darbar Sahib during the evening prayers of Rehraas Sahib.
The man who is yet to be identified can be seen jumping over the gold railings in the CCTV footage that SGPC released after the incident. The man picked up sword and attempted to attack the Garanthi singh as well as others sitting around holy Guru Garanth Sahib. The shocking incident got relayed to the entire world because of live coverage of evening prayers by PTC network.
As per reports, the man was first questioned in a room inside the Golden Temple premises, and then taken on a wheel chair to the SGPC headquarters. All this while, he was being beaten. Meanwhile, police also reached the spot. SGPC placed the body of man outside Teja Singh Samundari hall after uproar from the Sikh jathebandis. Many had started raising suspicions that SGPC has secretly handed the man to Police. The body of the man and statements from Sikhs who were witness to beating that he received made it clear that man had succumbed to injuries.
The reactions on the sacrilege started coming immediately after the incident. SGPC’s newly elected president Harjinder Singh Dhami confirmed that the young man succumbed to injuries while he was brought out of Darbar Sahib.
Jathedar Akal Takht Sahib Giani Harpreet Singh condemned the sacrilege in strong words and said, “History tells us that the Sikhs never tolerated any kind of attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib, even when powerful foreign invaders did so. They always gave them a befitting reply. There are some agencies which are behind these incidents in the season of elections.”
Anger & Disappointment in community due to inaction in sacrilege cases.
Akal Takht Sahib Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh had convened a meeting of Sikh Jathebandis back on 26th July 2021 to discuss the rampant conversions of Sikhs to Christianity as well as the sacrilege incidents.
The conference summed up and arrived at conclusion that there have been 250+ incidents of sacrilege in Punjab. Most of these incidents were isolated & the culprits in most cases were handed over to the authorities. The conference expressed sadness that no one has been punished for the sacrilege incidents. In a small subset of numbers 6 out of 10 culprits come out of jails without any strict actions by exploiting the mental instability loophole in the judicial system.
The 2015 sacrilege in Bargari is still fresh in the minds of Sikhs. The ruling congress government promised justice to Sikhs when it came to power in 2017 but there is no justice as we near the fresh elections in Punjab. Sacrilege is a sensitive issue for Sikhs across globe and as such politics for gains on the issue of sacrilege has rendered most political parties irrelevant in Sikh and panthic space.
To add fuel to fire the Firing incident at Bargari which led to martyrdom of two Sikhs has further lowered the credibility of judicial system of india and its ability to give justice in sacrilege cases
The sacrilege history and tussle of communities is decades old in Punjab, the only factor that has remained constant has been state’s inaction to do something about sacrilege issues. In 1986 the Sikhs protesting against the sacrilege of Guru Garanth Sahib were fired upon by police. 35 years later the Indian courts have arrived at conclusion that Firing was not necessary because Sikhs were not a mob and were entering Gurdwara. The state has failed to establish the dots for that sacrilege or punish the people who fired on Sikhs.
In more recent example of judicial failure the state has been unable to trace Dera Sacha Sauda’s Gurmeet’s role in sacrilege incidents. To most Sikhs the government just doesn’t understand the gravity of sacrilege in Sikhi.
The attempt to sacrilege at Singhu by Lakhwinder was an important point. The threshold for Sikh patience has finally been touched. All political leaders from Prakash singh Badal to current Chief Minister Charanjit Channi understand the falling mercury of trust in Sikhs when it comes to expecting justice from the state.
Pattern of Sacrilege
On 15th December a man was handed over to Amritsar Police for committing sacrilege by tearing apart Nitnem Gutka and throwing in Sarovar of Darbar Sahib. The SGPC task force made sure that man was handed to police unhurt expecting justice and some connections to sacrilege. The police slept on the case until yesterday when a man who is still not identified committed the sacrilege that has never gone unpunished in Sikh history.
The pattern of sacrilege in small villages of Punjab has seen the culprits coming out of jails on pretext of mental instability leading to anger in Sikhs.
In some of the cases the state has been unable to establish any credible connections or motives behind sacrilege leading to closure of files and bail out of culprits. SGPC President in his statement today hinted on the need of amendment in laws when it comes to dealing with sacrileges. It is important to understand sacrilege from Sikh perspectives to frame laws on it.
The Jathedar Akal Takht has called a meeting of jathedars of all the Takhts at Akal Takht on 25th December to discuss the future course of action for Panth on increasing sacrilege issues. Jathedar has also urged Sikhs to keep vigil in election season as incidents are more likely to increase.