Tension gripped Jalandhar city as more than 200 torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib were recovered from the Bist-Doab sub-canal on Saturday.
Three Sikh holy books from which the pages appear to have been torn were found near the water body. Torn pages of Bhagvad Gita, a Hindu religious text, were also recovered during the search.
Prince Pal Singh, who was the first to spot the pages floating in the canal, claimed he saw them while returning from the morning prayers at the gurdwara in Sher Singh Colony. When he dived into the canal to recover the pages, he found several more torn pages.
As the news spread, youths entered the canal along 4-km stretch at Basti Peer Daad, Basti Bawa Khel, Sher Singh Colony and Nahala and Gakhlan villages and found several more pages. Around a dozen youths were still in the canal recovering the pages when the search was called off late in the evening.
Earlier, angered over the incident, people blocked the Jalandhar-Kapurthala highway around 10am, demanding arrest of those behind the sacrilege. Despite requests from administrative and police officials, the protesters refused to lift the blockade.
A first information report (FIR) has been registered against unknown persons under Section 295-A (hurting religious sentiments) at the Basti Bawa Khel police station.
After tracing serial numbers mentioned on the three holy books recovered from near the canal, cops are trying to find to whom these were issued. A police team is checking the records of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar, to find these details. They are still to establish whether the holy books were stolen from any gurdwara.