A Bhagwan Shiv- Maa Parvati image was deliberately desecrated by a Sikh youth in Gurdaspur, Punjab on Saturday when Hindus were celebrating Asthami (eight day of Chaitra Navaratri festival). Locals allege police was late in arriving and wanted to stoke a riot over the incident.
The incident occurred in Dorangala where the market committee had organised a langar/bhandara (serving free food as part of worship) on the auspicious day. Suddenly, a Sikh youth arrived and placed his slippers on the image of Maa Paravati and Bhagwan Shiv that had been placed by Hindu devotees. People were stunned to see this act, and they beat him before tying him up and informing police. Incredibly, it took police an hour to arrive in such a serious matter.
Allegation that police tried to stoke a riot
Angry Hindus protested over the incident. They claimed that police unnecessarily called some Sikh organisations to the spot, due to which the situation heated up. They were also upset that police was trying to take the accused away and refused to book him on the spot. Finally, after lengthy protest, senior police officers arrived at the spot and a case was lodged under IPC 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) against the accused, Kuljeet Singh, a resident of Naushera.
Hindus have demanded that the police station in-charge and his team be suspended, alleging that the SHO deliberately tried to make it into a communal Hindu-Sikh matter and didn’t pay heed to their complaint. Police has denied the accusations and said they took ‘appropriate’ action.