Two people were murdered by a mob in Punjab in the past for allegedly insulting Sikh religious symbols. Public sentiments seem to stand in support of these incidents of lynching and mainstream political parties and Sikh scholars do not want to hurt those sentiments.
Chandigarh: The deeply entrenched flaws in the religious-social politics of Punjab have now come to the fore, as one after two mob lynchings in Amritsar and Kapurthala on charges of alleged sacrilege of religious symbols have led to all the lynchings. The country has been shaken.
these events in october this year The brutal, inhuman and brutal manner has brought back memories of another lynching episode. Then a person was murdered due to allegations of similar sacrilege amidst the ongoing farmers’ agitation on the Singhu border.
What is most worrying is how the acceptance of these heinous killings is increasing, with the state acting only as a mute spectator and failing to even register cases.
Many Sikh intellectuals, journalists and even members of various political parties the wire When he spoke, he either kept quiet on the matter or linked these killings (lynchings) to the state’s inaction in providing speedy justice in cases of old sacrilege.
He claimed that this inaction forced the people to take the law into their own hands.
In 2015, torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib were found in the streets of Punjab. Since then there have been many incidents of insulting this holy book. But the respective governments, be it the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government (2012-2017) or the present Congress government, have been guilty of not taking these matters to their logical conclusion.
The recent ouster of Amarinder Singh by his own party colleagues under the leadership of Navjot Singh Sidhu is also linked to Amarinder Singh’s failure to act in time to resolve sacrilege cases.
Looking at this history, the number of people who justify these killings is increasing.
Similar sentiments were also echoed in the recent statement of the Acting Jathedar of Akal Takht (a powerful Sikh religious authority) Giani Harpreet Singh.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi had equally condemned both the sacrilege and lynching incidents by tweeting. Responding to this tweet, Giani Harpreet Singh asked why the situation reached the point where the sangat had to kill.
He further said, ‘When the law has failed to do justice by punishing the culprits in the incidents of sacrilege in the past, what should Sikhs do with their hurt feelings/wounded hearts?’
The Jathedar of Akal Takht continued his talk and asked, ‘What should the victims of the 1984 massacre, who are counting their last breaths while waiting for justice? Dr. Manu Singhvi should tell this.’
Senior journalist Jagtar Singh the wire Told that the incident of sacrilege in the Golden Temple was not an isolated case.
He said that many such cases had come to the fore in the last several years, but sadly, the respective state governments failed to solve them. “That’s why people are now justifying these killings,” he said.
Even Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (SGPC) president Harjinder Singh Dhami said that it was the result of the government’s failure to deal with sacrilege cases, which led to the lynching of the Golden Temple.
All mainstream political parties have kept silence on this recent incident of violence. However, last week Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi denied the sacrilege in Kapurthala and termed it as murder and the caretaker of Nizampur Mor Gurdwara has also been arrested in the case, but everyone else including other members of the ruling Congress remained silent. Has sustained.
a journalist the wire “These incidents have just created an atmosphere in Punjab that any statement condemning the killings will be seen as an insult to public sentiments on the issue of sacrilege. This has become a major issue just before the upcoming assembly elections.
2011 According to the 2011 census, Sikhism is practiced by 57.69 percent of the population of Punjab, which number more than 16 million.
Sidhu’s latest stand is not surprising
Even those who are vocal on the issue of sacrilege are not going against public sentiments to remain politically relevant during the election season.
Punjab Congress state president Navjot Singh Sidhu first used the sacrilege issue to oust Amarinder Singh from the chief minister’s post and is now using it to put pressure on his friend turned foe, new chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
During his public address at Malerkotla, Punjab, he addressed the people behind the sacrilege. ‘Public hanging’ The demand to be given created an uproar.
Many see his statement as an open support for lynching.
Later, in sharp criticism of his own government’s inaction in sacrilege cases, Sidhu was killed in police firing during the 2015 anti-sabotage protests in Faridkot. families of victims met with.
During this, he said that if people themselves have done speedy justice in both the recent cases of sacrilege, then it is because they do not have faith in the system.
Several SITs in Punjab are probing sacrilege cases. While part of the police investigation is pointing to the role of followers of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, whose chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has already been convicted of various crimes and is in jail.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which initially probed the case, has already dismissed the role of Dera followers in the sacrilege.
While it is yet to be clearly revealed who was responsible for the 2015 sacrilege cases in Punjab, at the same time, the recent incidents of sacrilege have posed new challenges for the Punjab Police.
As part of these challenges, it has to find out whether these recent incidents are part of a larger conspiracy just before the elections, which aims to polarize the Punjabi society on religious lines just before the elections, as many believe. There is fear too.
Former Punjab IAS officer KBS Sidhu Tweet He said, ‘I am assuming that there was some conspiracy behind this unforgivable sacrilege attempt. The purpose of this conspiracy will be less to anger and hurt Sikhs around the world and more to intimidate and terrorize Punjabi Hindus.
In numbers, Hindus are an important political force in the state after Sikhs and Dalits, whose support is crucial for any party to form a government in Punjab.
Many believe that the first effect of the pro-lynching arguments in Punjab is that the space for rational voices is decreasing.
CPI(M) Punjab unit secretary Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon the wire Told that mob lynching whether in Punjab or anywhere else, it is condemnable and should be stopped at any cost. He said that no one should be allowed to run a parallel government, no matter how provoking the situation.
“We also believe that there should be no long delay in investigation and disposal of sacrilege related cases,” Sekhon said. But this does not mean that people should be allowed to take law in their own hands and make the law and order weak.
Criticizing Navjot Singh Sidhu’s statement of ‘public hanging’, Sekhon said that the state president of the ruling party should not behave like this.
Sekhon asks, ‘I want to ask Sidhu whether there is any provision for public hanging in our constitution. If not, then why is he instigating public sentiments instead of teaching people to exercise restraint.
He said, ‘The foundation of our country has not been laid on the basis of religion. India is a democratic nation run by law and constitution. How can a government go outside the purview of the Constitution and set a wrong example by standing with those who break the law?’
“No matter how terrible the crime, the culprit should be handed over to the state agency (police) and punished as per law,” he said.
According to Sekhon, there is a possibility that these recent sacrilege attempts are aimed at disturbing the hard-earned peace in Punjab. It is therefore imperative that those forces, whether internal or external, be exposed and their conspiracy exposed.
CPI State Secretary Bant Singh Brar the wire Told the mob that by killing the accused of sacrilege, the mob has also disrupted the police investigation. “If there was a deep conspiracy to divide the society through these sacrilege attempts, then how will it be revealed now when only the people sent to carry out it did not survive,” he said.
They ask how the police would come to the conclusion that the person who attempted such a heinous crime was mentally unstable or was in fact part of a larger plan or conspiracy.
Brar said, “More layers would have come to the fore regarding the sacrilege attempt at Singhu border had the accused been alive today.” Similarly, if the person sent for the sacrilege attempt at the Golden Temple was alive today, the police could have found many important clues after investigating him.
Brar further said that the sacrilege at the Golden Temple was a clear and clear case, but there are still question marks over the alleged sabotage attempt in Kapurthala where the accused was killed by the mob.
He said, ‘It is time that the political class of the state should come forward and tell the people that people found suspicious in sacrilege cases should not be killed, as this will help in getting to the root of the matter after investigation.’
Brar, however, said there was an important reason behind such behavior by mainstream political parties in Punjab.
“Elections are not far away in Punjab and vote bank politics is forcing political parties not to take a tough stand on these mob killings,” he says.
“These incidents can put the state in deep trouble,” Brar said. If tomorrow someone is killed on mere suspicion then how will we handle the situation?’
He said that mob lynching is wrong in any case, whether it is in any religion or practiced by any community.
When the incident of lynching happened on the Singhu border, the United Kisan Morcha immediately condemned it and talked about maintaining law and order. But, this time there has been no statement from the SKM or individual farmer leaders even after several days on similar brutal killings in Punjab.
When contacted, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of BKU-Ekta Ugrahan, one of the leading farm unions in Punjab, said: the wire “Though the incidents of sacrilege are highly condemnable, but I do not wish to comment on the lynchings as of now.”
(Click here to read this report in English.)
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