Two Lynchings Reported at Sikh Temples in India

Two men were lynched in the past two days over alleged sacrilege attempt inside Sikh temples, including one at the religions’ holiest site in northern Punjab province of India, authorities said.

The first mob attack occurred on Saturday when a man stepped inside at the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple in Amritsar city of Punjab, Indian media reported.

The unidentified man picked up a diamond-encrusted sword and tried to strike the holy book with it, which is considered a sacrilege, the Indian Express reported.

Temple caretakers stopped the man, and were taking him to a manager’s office when the mob intercepted them and beat him to death, the outlet quoted eyewitness as saying.

Another man was beaten to death on Sunday by an angry mob for disrespecting the Sikh flag by tearing it apart in the Gurdwara Sahib temple in Kapurthala again a district in Punjab, the media outlet added.

The eyewitness said the police had immediately taken into custody the man accused of sacrilege, but the Sikhs demanded an inquiry in their presence, according to the news outlet.

As tension rose, the angry Sikhs overpowered the police and several beat the man. The police said they have taken the man to a hospital, however, the doctors declared him dead, the news agency added.

When asked about lynchings, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Chief Ashwani Sharma, said he is not aware of the entire situation. “Let me get the facts and we will release a statement,” the newspaper quoted him.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said the alleged culprit on Saturday should not have been killed, because he could have helped the authorities to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.

After news of the second lynching started to come in, DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyay tweeted, “I have taken serious note of the unfortunate incidents in Amritsar and Kapurthala. Any attempt to violate the communal harmony in the state will be dealt with a firm hand.” 

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