Making headway in the October 16 sacrilege of Baath village in Tarn Taran district, police claimed on Tuesday here that it was the work of the same granthi, Jagdish Singh, who had torn pages of the scripture at Amritsar’s Nijjerpura village on October 18. Baath is 15 km from Nijjerpura.
“He has given us the entire sequence of crime, from the time he went to Baath village,” border zone inspector general of police Lok Nath Angra told the media. “We are trying to find out if he had any local support,” said border range DIG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. “The granthi told us he was in the habit of stealing money from his Nijjerpura gurdwara and, on October 16, had gone to Baath as well to steal from the offering. Finding not much cash there, he damaged the holy book in frustration,” said Angra.
Police claimed money was the only motive behind this act. “The granthi thought the news of sacrilege would bring more people and offering to the gurdwara, and there would be more for him to steal,” said the DIG. “The man’s crime had nothing to do with the Akal Takht’s pardoning of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh,” the police officer added.
“After the Nijjerpura incident, the police tried to gather a lead from devotees and religious leaders over there, and villagers Satnam Singh and Sahib Singh said they had caught the granthi red-handed. Interrogated, he accepted that his wife and he had desecrated the ‘gutkas’ (small book of essential Sikh religious verses),” said the police.
We suspected him: Sarpanch
Nijjerpura sarpanch Jagdeep Singh said that few days before the crime, the villagers had complained about the granthi’s conduct.
“The greedy granthi tried to mislead everyone into believing he was the hero who saved the ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib by chasing away the unidentified youth who had come to defile it. But he was exposed,” said the sarpanch. Villager Davinder Singh Nijjer said: “We have no doubt that the granthi is the offender.”