Punjab: Man Held For Hitting Priests And Desecrating Holy Book In Gurdwara In Morinda

In a tweet in Punjabi, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the incident is 'highly condemnable and no one will be spared'.

Representative image of Punjab Police. The accused has been arrested by Punjab Police.

A man was arrested on Monday for allegedly hitting priests and desecrating a holy book in a Sikh gurdwara in Morinda town in Punjab's Rupnagar district.

Sacrilege is a sensitive issue in Punjab. The incident led to protests and leaders across political parties condemned the incident.

In a tweet in Punjabi, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the incident is "highly condemnable and no one will be spared".

"The incident that happened at Gurdwara Sri Kotwali Sahib of Morinda is highly condemnable and no one will be spared for this incident. Anyone who commits the act of blasphemy will be severely punished. For us, the honor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the first," said Mann, according to the English translation of the tweet.  

The arrested man was identified as Jasvir Singh. In a video of the incident, the man could be seen entering the sanctum sanctorum of Kotwali Sahib Gurdwara after crossing the railing and then hitting two 'granthis' who were reciting from the Guru Granth Sahib. He then shoved aside the holy books there. 

Singh was later overpowered by devotees present in the shrine and beaten up. He was then handed over to police.  

The incident sparked outrage among locals who held a protest outside the Morinda Police Station, seeking strict punishment for the accused. Markets were also shut down in Morinda in protest against the incident.

Senior political leaders, including former chief ministers Amarinder Singh and Charanjit Singh Channi, expressed shock over the incident and sought exemplary punishment in the matter.

Senior police officials, including Inspector General of Police Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, reached Morinda to take stock of the situation.    

Reacting to the incident, Amarinder Singh tweeted, "The beadbi incident at Gurdwara Sri Kotwali Sahib in Morinda is highly condemnable. I urge Punjab Police to immediately arrest the perpetrator of this heinous crime and award the strictest punishment possible."

Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly, Partap Singh Bajwa, urged the state government to give strict punishment to the accused.

"Shocked to hear about sacrilege incident at Gurudwara Sahib in Morinda, Punjab. The person responsible has been caught & is in police custody. It's my appeal to Sangat to maintain peace & harmony at all costs. I request the Punjab Govt to give exemplary punishment to the accused," he said in a tweet.

Channi also reached Morinda and joined the protest against the episode.

(With PTI inputs)