Sacrilege Case: UNITED SIKHS Petitions Human Rights Commission to Investigate
Panjab - UNITED SIKHS has petitioned the Punjab Human Rights
Commission (PHRC) to investigate the desecration of five Saroops of Sri
Guru Granth Sahib Ji and other Sikh scriptures in a Panjab village on
12th Aug 2011.
the desecration of five saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in a
village in Panjab, the Punjab Police have registered a case of theft in
a dwelling house, etc…. However, the police have not added the offence
under section 295-A IPC relating to injuring the religious sentiments
of Sikhs nor an offence under section 153-A of IPC relating to an act
which is prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and offence committed in
a place of worship, nor offence under section 153-B of IPC relating to
assertions prejudicial to national integration,”: Mejindarpal Kaur,
UNITED SIKHS Legal Director said in the petition filed through her.
community is in shock and we pray for forgiveness that this sacrilege
took place in our Gurdwara . Until the culprit is found we take full
responsibility for the pain that has been caused to the community,”
said a tearful Kulwant Singh, the Gurdwara president.
UNITED SIKHS legal team speaking to SHO Jarnail Singh who is investigating the incidentThe petition
filed through UNITED SIKHS Legal Director, Mejindarpal Kaur, calls upon
the Commission to use its power under section 14 of the Protection of
Human Rights Act, 1993, to have the desecration case investigated by a
special investigation team headed by an officer of Indian Police
Service rank for offences of injuring religious sentiments and
promoting enmity between religious groups and acts which threaten
national integration under sections 295-A, 153- A, 153-B of Indian
Penal Code (IPC).
“UNITED SIKHS had to petition the PHRC because the Punjab Police had to
date, more than a week after the sacrilegious incident, only
investigated the incident as a mere theft and trespass,” said Gurvinder
Singh, UNITED SIKHS’ Chandigarh based lawyer who filed the petition.
You may read the petition here. Voices For Freedom , an international
human rights group, which is based in Chandigarh, has also filed
a similar petition though its lawyer, Simranjit Singh.
Kulwant Singh, president of Udhampur Nalan Gurdwara, Morinda
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
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.
“This incident was well planned, where the perpetrator(s) removed from
the gurdwara all five saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Chaur
sahib (fly whisk) and all other religious books and scriptures and
threw them in the well nearby making no attempt to hide the items.
Further there was no sign of forced entry nor was any golakh money
(community donations) or anything of monetary value stolen, save an
amplifier system which is hitherto unrecovered.
suggests that this was not a simple act of theft. Instead the
perpetrators intended to incite the Sikh community and by so doing
cause disharmony. Hence it is imperative that investigations are
stepped up to investigate the more serious offences of causing
religious enmity and jeopardizing harmony,” added Mejindarpal Kaur.
The UNITED SIKHS legal team filed the petition after visiting Udhanpur
Nallan to interview the villagers and the Gurdwara President, Kulwant
Singh. Our team also met with the Punjab Police investigating team, led
by Jarnail Singh.
“The village community is in shock and we pray for forgiveness
that this sacrilege took place in our Gurdwara . Until the culprit is
found we take full responsibility for the pain that has been caused to
the community,” said a tearful Kulwant Singh.
You may read a previous press release on UNITED SIKHS advocacy efforts for religious freedom in Panjab at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-07-06-2011-00.html
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You may read a Panjabi translation of this PR here
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