UNITED SIKHSWinner of the Sikhs and Charities Award
Aug 21, 2011
6th Bhadon (Samvat 543 Nanakshahi)
Press Release
Having trouble viewing this email? View it on our website
Sacrilege Case: UNITED SIKHS Petitions Human Rights Commission to Investigate
“Following 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.

“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, the Gurdwara president.
Chandigarh, 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.

UNITED SIKHS legal team speaking to SHO Jarnail Singh who is investigating the incident

The 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.

Senator Boxer
Kulwant Singh, president of Udhampur Nalan Gurdwara, Morinda

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 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.

“This 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

Issued by

Mejindarpal Kaur
Legal Director
International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy
+91 9779957973

Follow us on TwitterTwitter  Connect on Facebook Facebook Read Our Blog Blog

You may read a Panjabi translation of this PR here


Protect Our Identity (POI) is an ongoing international campaign launched by UNITED SIKHS in August 2010 . It focuses on the need to protect the Sikh community's right to express its religious identity.  Initiatives under the POI campaign include:
  • Right to Turban
  • Airport Security in European Union and United States
  • Anti-Bullying Initiatives
  • Rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Pakistan
  • Equality in Employment
  • Right to Kakaars
  • Recognition of Sikhs as a Religion and Ethnicity in UK and US Census, and Raising Awareness of Sikhs and Sikhism to reduce acts of violence and xenophobia against Sikhs.
UNITED SIKHS is currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are willing to spread the message of the campaign within their own communities. To join or contribute to the campaign, volunteer or donate to UNITED SIKHS.
Contact Us

You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the UNITED SIKHS, which will provide immediate relief and support to those in need. You may donate online at www.unitedsikhs.org/donate  or send your donations to a UNITED SIKHS office nearest to you, whose details can be found at http://unitedsikhs.org/contact.php .

Ordinarily only 10 percent of your donation is spent on admin costs.


To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.

Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.