Police on Monday claimed to have solved the case of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib at Ghawaddi village in the district with the arrest of a baptised woman, Balwinder Kaur (48), and the ‘granthi’ (priest) of Gurdwara Ravidasspura, Sikandar Singh (27).
Police commissioner Paramraj Singh Umranangal said the woman, a ‘sewadar’ working at the gurdwara for the past seven years, had confessed to her crime. He said the police were interrogating her to ascertain the motive.
Balwinder and Sikandar have been booked under sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Balwinder’s son Ranjit Singh was the gurdwara president for two years and is presently the numberdar of Ghawaddi village. Her husband, Amar Singh, had died in 2007. Umranangal said Balwinder entered the gurdwara around 4.20am on Sunday. She took the keys of the sanctum sanctorum from Sikandar’s wife, who lives on the premises, and went inside to clean the place.
The police commissioner said the woman then opened the holy book and tore 20 pages. Sikandar arrived there and recited ‘mukhwak’ from Guru Granth Sahib. Balwinder repeatedly asked him whether all pages of the holy book were in a good condition. When he checked thoroughly, he found 20 pages torn. The priest, who was unaware of the woman’s crime, pleaded her not to disclose it to anyone as he feared expulsion from the gurdwara.
Later, realising that the sacrilege could not be concealed, he announced it from the gurdwara’s loudspeaker and informed sarpanch Jagdeep Singh, who informed the police.
The police commissioner said the special investigation team (SIT) had solved the case.