The woman arrested for the sacrilege of the holy book at Ghawaddi village in Ludhiana committed the crime to take revenge on the new gurdwara priest, who had replaced her son.
Balwinder Kaur, a baptised Sikh, who was held on Monday, told police that earlier her son Ranjit Singh was the gurdwara committee president. He was also the priest, as a result the family had some earnings from the gurdwara. However, after a new committee took over, it appointed a new priest, hitting the income of her family.
The woman said she was aware of the situation prevailing in Punjab over incidents of desecration. So, she hatched a conspiracy to tear pages of the holy book to pin blame on the priest. She assumed that after the incident the priest would be sacked and her son would get his job back, said police.
On Tuesday, Balwinder, along with her ‘granthi’ Sikandar Singh, who has also held for concealing facts in the case, faced ire of villagers who hurled stones at them.
The incident took place when cops took the two accused to the village to recover keys of the shrine. As the police team reached the village, angry residents roughed up the two accused. Police had to take away the duo to a safer place. Two cops were hurt in stone pelting.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Narinder Bhargava said the situation was under control.
Sources said Balwinder Kaur has named some villagers as her accomplices to settle scores with them. Police rounded them up, but later let them off after questioning.
Balwinder claimed that a villager Nachattar Singh encouraged her to desecrate the holy book. Nachhattar Singh had applied for the post of ‘nambardar’ opposing the candidature of woman’s son Ranjit Singh.
The woman later named former sarpanch of the village Paramjit Singh Ghawaddi as her associate but later backtracked.
Ghawaddi, who is the general secretary of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said he had tipped off police on the involvement of Balwinder in the sacrilege.
According to villagers, the woman and her family don’t enjoy a good reputation.
Accused sent to two-day remand
A local court has sent Balwinder Kaur and Sikandar Singh, who were arrested on Monday for sacrilege of the holy book, to two-day police remand. The accused were produced in the court of judicial magistrate Karandeep Kaur under high security. Police told the court that it needed to interrogate to two accused to know about the involvement of other accused, if any, in the case.