As tension mounted in Jodhpur village on Friday on the occasion of the 'bhog' ceremony held to pay respects to the 'bir' of the Guru Granth Sahib that was burnt in the village gurdwara, the state government announced the formation of a two-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the December one incident.
The formation of the SIT was announced by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at Amritsar after reviewing the situation prevailing in the village. The SIT has been directed to give its findings to the government within 48 hours.
With short time at their disposal, SIT members Jatinder Singh Aulakh, Amritsar Police Commissioner, and Gurpreet Singh Gill, Khanna SSP, immediately commenced investigations. They visited the village and met the local residents.
"Yes we have begun investigations and will hopefully submit our report within the stipulated time", stated Aulakh when contacted by HT.
SIT will be looking at claims by a section of the villagers that the 'bir' was deliberately set on fire. Deliberate burning of the holy scripture constitutes an act of sacrilege and is viewed seriously by the Sikh clergy.
BHOG PASSES OF PEACEFULLY
Meanwhile, the last in the series of three 'bhog' ceremonies held to pay respects to the 'bir', passed off peacefully at Jodhpur. Though there were signs of tension in the village, but a large number of police personnel were present to maintain law and order.
Akal Takht jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh, who was also present on the occasion, appealed for peace and asked those present not to take the law into their own hands.
"We must have faith in our government and wait for the report of the SIT", he said in his address at the function.
Prior to the burning of the 'bir', Jodhpur had in October witnessed a clash between some Sikhs of the village and DJJS followers over the holding of a religious congregation in the village. This happened after the dera managers shifted its scheduled congregation from Tarn Taran to Jodhpur. In this incident around 13 persons sustained injuries and a case was registered.
A case under sections 452 (trespassing), 295-A (hurting religious sentiments), 436 and 427 of the IPC was registered against nine persons in the 'bir' burning incident on December one. So far, seven persons have been taken into custody but the main accused, Onkar Singh, is still at large. He is one of the main functionaries at the Tarn Taran 'dera' of the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS)) .