Kapurthala Lynching: Victim Had Eight Deep Cuts on Body; Murder Case Not Registered Yet

The police had on Sunday said there was "no visible sign" of sacrilege having taken place at the gurdwara.

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New Delhi: The neck and other body parts of the man who was lynched at a gurdwara in Punjab’s Kapurthala for alleged sacrilege had over eight “deep sharp cuts” that were likely to have been inflicted by swords, a senior medical officer of the local civil hospital, where his body has been kept, said on Monday.

Police said no murder case has been registered in the case as yet and their priority is to establish the identity of the man, for which they have shared his pictures in media and with the police in other states.

The unidentified man, who appeared to be a migrant labourer, was killed by a mob after being accused of “disrespecting” the Sikh religious flag at a gurdwara in Nizampur village in Kapurthala district on Sunday morning.

He was the second person who was lynched by a mob for alleged ‘sacrilege’ in a span of 24 hours in Punjab. On Saturday, a person was lynched after he reportedly tried to steal a sword from inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

A host of politicians, including chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, have all condemned the alleged sacrilege but not the lynchings. They have also claimed that the incidents of ‘sacrilege’ are a ‘conspiracy’ to disturb the peace and harmony in the state. Some have also linked the incidents to next year’s assembly elections.

The police released the Kapurthala gurdwara manager Amarjit Singh, who was detained for questioning, on Sunday night. He had claimed that he saw the man trying to disrespect the ‘Nishan Sahib’ (religious flag) early in the morning after he came out for daily prayers.

However, the police had on Sunday said there was “no visible sign” of sacrilege having taken place at the gurdwara, which is located on the Kapurthala-Subhnapur road.

Civil hospital senior medical officer Dr Sandip Dhawan said there were more than eight deep sharp cuts on the neck, hips and legs that were likely to have been inflicted by swords, besides blunt injuries.

The exact number of injuries will be known after the post mortem, he said.

Kapurthala senior superintendent of police Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh said the post mortem of the body will be conducted after the lapse of 72 hours in case no claimant came forward.

The unclaimed body would be cremated by the municipal authorities, he said.

The body of the victim has been kept in the mortuary of the local civil hospital.

A police team is contacting police officials of other states on phone and has also asked the health authorities to conduct a DNA test to establish his identity, he said.

Khakh said the police have shared a photo of the man in newspapers.

The SSP has deputed the Kotwali station house officer Prabhdeep Singh to investigate the case.

No murder case has been registered in this case as yet, he said.

A case under section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) has so far been registered against the victim on the complaint of the manager of the gurdwara.

Sidhu says those accused of sacrilege should be ‘hanged in public’

Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday seemingly justified the killings, saying those accused of sacrilege should be “hanged in public”.

Addressing a public meeting in Malerkotla district, he said, “Even today, conspiracies are being hatched to disturb peace in Punjab.”

“If any incident of sacrilege takes place – be it of the Quran Sharif, the Bhagavad Gita or the Guru Granth Sahib – the culprits should be publicly hanged, should be given the maximum punishment under the Constitution because such incidents hurt our sentiments,” he said.

“Anyone can make a mistake, but this is not a mistake, this is a conspiracy to weaken and finish the society,” he claimed.

In a tweet, he added “Punjab is built on strong foundation of Oneness & universal brotherhood laid down by Guru Sahib. No divisive forces can destroy strong social fabric of Punjabi Community. Deliberate & malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings should be dealt with deterrent punishment. (sic)”