- According to sources, religious places could be targeted to vitiate the atmosphere in the state
- SGPC has demanded death sentence in cases of sacrilege or disrespect of religious texts
The Centre has issued an alert to the Punjab government in view of the recent sacrilege attempts in the state. Two unidentified men were beaten to death in Amritsar and Kapurthala after they allegedly attempted to commit sacrilege.
The Centre issued instructions to the authorities to increase security measures and closely monitor the situation at all religious shrines in the state to avoid such incidents. According to sources, religious places could be targeted to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu also said conspiracies are being hatched to disturb peace in the state. He also said "deliberate and malicious acts" intended to outrage religious feelings should be dealt with deterrent punishment.
Meanwhile, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Monday demanded to include a provision of awarding of death sentence in cases of sacrilege or disrespect of religious texts. Harjinder Singh, SGPC chief, said such incidents hurt the religious sentiments of the public and therefore be dealt with an iron hand. He also questioned the government's special investigation team (SIT) that it has constituted to probe into the alleged attempt of sacrilege at the Golden Temple on December 18. The SGPC said that the committee has decided to set up a six-member committee to investigate the case.
Singh said that in the matter of sacrilege attempt at the Golden Temple, 'whatever happened was a reaction in the defence'. The accused youth, it appeared, had taken commando training, he said.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Sunday began an 'Akand Path' (uninterrupted recitation of the holy scripture) to express remorse over the alleged sacrilege attempt at the Golden Temple. SGPC president Harjinder Singh was present at the start of the 'Akhand Path' at the Gurdwara Manji Sahib Diwan Hall.
He said the alleged sacrilege attempt which took place on Saturday evening at the Golden Temple has caused deep mental and spiritual anguish to the entire Sikh community.