Youth killed after alleged sacrilege at the Golden Temple

A young man was beaten to death on Saturday at the Golden Temple in Amritsar after being charged with attempted sacrilege.

The man in his 20s, who has not yet been identified, was captured by staff of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee and devotees at Darbar Sahib.

His body was later placed outside the main gate of SGPC headquarters. DCP Parminder Singh Bhandal said: “The unidentified man was beaten before being taken to SGPC headquarters. It is a matter of investigation how he died.”

An SGPC official said the man in his early 20s was caught climbing the gold railing around sanctum sanctorum, where guru Granth Sahib is located, and picked up Siri Sahib (the sword) around noon. 17.50 when the evening prayer was said.

The man was overpowered by the guards and other devotees. The incident was captured on camera as Rehras Sahib (evening prayer) is broadcast live across the globe by a private channel.

The SGPC did not immediately release CCTV footage. It was the second incident of attempted sacrilege in four days at the Golden Temple.

According to sources, the man was first questioned in a room inside the Golden Temple and then taken in a wheelchair to SGPC headquarters. All this meanwhile he was beaten. Meanwhile, police also reached the scene.

Sources said both police and SGPC officials questioned the man, but he did not disclose any information about himself. He had no identity card on him.

SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami expressed anger over the incident.

A dharna was started by some Sikh activists and devotees who claimed custody of the person. SGPC later brought the man’s body and placed it outside headquarters.

It was the second consecration attempt at the Golden Temple within four days. One person threw a gutka (a book containing verses from Gurbani) into sarovar (holy tank) in the Golden Temple on Wednesday.

SGPC sewadars arrested the person and handed him over to police. He was identified as Ranbir Singh.

“This is not a misguided incident, it is a conspiracy hatched to provoke the feelings of the Sikhs and destroy the atmosphere in Punjab,” SGPC President Dhami said after the incident.


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