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“Hang sacrilege accused in public”: Punjab Congress cheif Navjot Sidhu

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Chandigarh: Breaking the political mum over the two lynching cases after alleged sacrilege attempts that took place within 24 hours span, state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday demanded public execution for those accused of desecrating religious texts.

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Addressing a rally at Malerkotla on Sunday, Mr Sidhu said cases of sacrilege hurt people’s religious sentiments and demanded that the accused in such cases must be hanged in public. He alleged a “conspiracy against one community” and that fundamentalist forces are trying to disturb peace in the state of Punjab.

Mr Sidhu’s remark comes at a time when most politicians in the state are treading cautiously on the subject as the Punjab is few months far from contesting Assembly polls.

While many prominent political figures have strongly condemned the alleged sacrilege attempts and pointed to a conspiracy behind them, they are keeping themselves abstain from commenting on the mob lynchings of the accused. Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, too, has slammed the the alleged sacrilege attempts, but chose not to speak on the lynchings.

The CM on Sunday visited the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where the first incident of lynching took place. His official handle tweeted that he has assured that the matter will be “thoroughly probed to unmask real conspirators”. He also urged people to be “vigilant” and “take care of all religious places/institutions”.

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As per the police reports, none of the two people beaten to death – at Amritsar’s Golden Temple and in Kapurthala – have been identified yet. Furthermore, in the Kapurthala incident, no FIR has been registered yet regarding the killing. Police suspect that the Kapurthala incident is likely to be the case of theft and not of sacrilege.

Amid the mounting tension over the appalling incidents, police have stepped up security near gurdwaras.

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