Elderly woman ‘found smoking’ at Golden Temple assaulted

An elderly woman from Bihar was mercilessly slapped multiple times by two Sikh men for allegedly smoking inside the Golden Temple complex earlier this week, according to a video clip of the incident
A senior police official said the woman was released as there was no proof of her puffing a cigarette in the Golden Temple.
A senior police official said the woman was released as there was no proof of her puffing a cigarette in the Golden Temple.
Published on Mar 18, 2022 01:13 AM IST
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ByAnil Sharma, Amritsar

An elderly woman from Bihar was mercilessly slapped multiple times by two Sikh men for allegedly smoking inside the Golden Temple complex here earlier this week, according to a video clip of the incident that went viral on social media on Thursday.

In the video, the woman, who was handed over to police without a complaint, is seen sitting in the circumambulation of the shrine along with another woman and a child, and surrounded by five to six Sikh men on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. One of the men is seen coercing the woman to confess her mistake.

A senior police official, who didn’t wish to be named, said the woman was released as there was no proof of her puffing a cigarette in the Golden Temple.

“Those who produced the woman to the police could not show any cigarette and even in the video, there is no proof of her smoking any cigarette. Thrashing her was inhumane,” the official said.

When asked if the police will take action against those who beat her up , he said the police did not get any complaint from the woman and prima facie, it appears that the group who thrashed the woman belongs to a separatist Sikh body.

In the video, the woman repeatedly asked for forgiveness, saying that she had lit a cigarette and was not aware about the rules of the holy shrine. However, the accompanying woman said the cigarette was only taken out, but not puffed.

Her appeals fell on deaf ears and one of the men who repeatedly slapped her said that she should be taught a lesson.

“Don’t make grievous injuries, but teach her a lesson,” he is seen saying in the purported video.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) officials said the woman was handed over to the local police soon after she was caught.

“The incident took place at around 12:00 am on Tuesday. The Bihar woman was caught by an SGPC employee. Those who thrashed her were the devotees. No SGPC employee had touched the woman. The woman was, later on, handed over to the local police, but no written complaint was given. Even the cigarettes recovered from the woman were thrown in the sewers,” SGPC general secretary Karnail Singh Panjoli said.

Panjoli also demanded the transfer of Golden Temple manager Gurinder Singh Mathrewal and his brother Narinder Singh with immediate effect, saying three back-to-back incidents of sacrilege have been reported in the Golden Temple due to his negligence.

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