Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said on Sunday that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Law and Order had been formed to investigate the sacrilege incident at Sri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar, which would present an investigation report within two days.
Randhawa met with Civil and Police officers at Police Lines, according to the Office of the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, where IG Border Range Mohnish Chawla, Police Commissioner Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill, Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira, SSP (Rural) Rakesh Kaushal, S Rajinder Singh Mehta, S Harjap Singh Suktanwind, and S Sukhdev Singh Bhoorakona from SGPC also made an appearance.
“It was a very unfortunate incident,” the Deputy Chief Minister said after the meeting. “The police will get to the bottom of it.”
During the preliminary inquiry, it was discovered that the accused entered the Sri Darbar Sahib complex around 11:30 am and lingered at Parikarma of the holiest shrine, indicating that the accused was there with a target, according to the press release.
Randhawa added that CCTV footage from markets near Sri Darbar Sahib was being analysed to determine where the accused came from and whether he was accompanied by anyone.
The state government, in collaboration with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, will investigate the entire incident. He also stated that the culprit is still to be recognised, and that a post-mortem test will be undertaken immediately.
He stated that Punjab Police, in collaboration with the SGPC, will ensure that the Gurdwaras have CCTV cameras that are completely operational.
The Deputy Chief Minister further stated that the Punjab Vidhan Sabha passed a resolution in 2018 to alter section 298 into section 295-A, but the Centre is still yet to act.
He said that section 295-A of the law provided for a 10-year sentence for anyone who committed religious desecration. The State Government will also write to the Centre requesting that section 295-A be approved. Randhawa further directed the Director-General of Police (DGP), all Commissioners of Police, and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) to beef up security around all Gurudwaras/Temples/Mosques/Churches and other religious sites 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Deputy CM stated that CCTVs should be installed in complexes where the Guru Granth Sahib is displayed with other sacred scriptures in all religious locations.
He further said that police should have a close working relationship with the SGPC and all gurudwara committees, and that Guru Granth Saab should never be left unattended.