Punjab Sacrilege Row: SGPC Chief Claims 'Big Conspiracy' In Golden Temple Sacrilege Bid

SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami told reporters that the SGPC task force had stopped the perpetrator from entering the Golden Temple suspecting foul play. He managed to enter the sanctum sanctorum in the evening after the shift of task force members changed.

Punjab Sacrilege Row: SGPC Chief Claims 'Big Conspiracy' In Golden Temple Sacrilege Bid

SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami on Monday expressed apprehension of a "big conspiracy" behind the alleged sacrilege attempt at the Golden Temple and said the man involved in it seemed to have received "commando training".

He also claimed that the law allows a person to kill in self-defence, suggesting that this is what happened at the Golden Temple when the man was lynched after the alleged sacrilege attempt.

He told reporters that suspecting foul play, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) task force had stopped the man from entering the Golden Temple but he managed to gain entry inside the sanctum sanctorum after the shift of task force members changed in the evening.

"I feel that he had undergone commando training from the way he jumped the railing and did it (made a sacrilege attempt) in just six seconds. There is a big conspiracy behind it," Dhami said.

On being asked that the man was lynched when caught by the SGPC task force, Dhami said "devotees were angry over this incident".

The man had picked a sword and was going to attack the holy Guru Granth Sahib, which is considered a living entity by Sikhs, Dhami said.

One can kill a person in self-defence if somebody attacks with an intention of murder and the law does not consider it as an offence, he said.

Before the task force members could do anything, the man was beaten up by the angry crowd that led to his death, he said.

Dhami said the SGPC will set up its own special investigation team to "bring out the truth".

Dhami said it will comprise two representatives from Sikh organisations, two from the SGPC and two "Panthic" scholars.

"The SGPC has watched the CCTV footage to get to the bottom of the incident," he said.

"CCTV cameras revealed that the accused reached Sri Harmandar Sahib via Jalliawala Bagh Marg at 8.30 am on the day of incident. During this time, he first came from the Sri Akal Takht Sahib secretariat side around 9 am to enter the 'parikarma', but returned," Dhami said.

"He then reached Guru Ramdas Sarai side through the plaza and entered the langar hall at 9.38 am. He had langar and took tea. From here, he entered the parikarma of Sri Harmandar Sahib at 10.19 am," said Dhami.

"He reached inside the sanctum sanctorum for the first time at 10.34 am and at 10:37 am. He went upstairs on Har Ki Pauri and came out at 11.45 am. He then re-entered Sri Harmandar Sahib and committed the highly despicable incident at 5.46 pm," said Dhami.

Dhami said, "It is clear from the CCTV cameras that he was afraid and kept walking with his face down all day."

To a query, Dhami said whatever punishment was meted out to him by the Sikh 'Panth', it is due to hurting religious sentiments and "failure" of the governments in delivering justice in sacrilege cases.

He said in the past, a large number of cases of sacrilege and its attempt have been recorded but the governments failed to deliver justice.

In an assembly convened by the SGPC, leaders of the various Sikh organizations unanimously declared that the "anti-Panth" (anti-community) forces would be fought with unity.

They said 'sangat' (community) has "lost faith" in the law and government machinery as it has not taken any culprit to severe punishment, forcing the "Sikh Panth to take a decision on its own".

The incident had taken place on Saturday evening when the man jumped golden grills inside the sanctum sanctorum, picked a sword and reached near the place where a Sikh priest was reciting the holy Guru Granth Sahib.

Less than 24 hours after the incident, another man was lynched for allegedly "disrespecting" the Sikh religious flag at a gurdwara in a Kapurthala village on Sunday morning.

Police have registered complaints over the alleged sacrilege attempts in both cases but no FIR appears to have been registered in connection with the deaths.