Sanjeev Singh Bariana:
Malke (Moga): Amid ongoing religious tension in Punjab, torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib were today found on the streets of Malke village in Moga district. A cover of the holy book was also reportedly found in Bargari village of Faridkot, which witnessed the sacrilege incident on October 12, but the matter is under investigation.
The pages found in Malke village were from an old publication printed by the Bhai Chattar Singh Jiwan Singh press that no longer publishes copies. Now, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC)-run presses handle the task.
‘Fauji’ Sewak Singh, an ex-serviceman, was the first person to report the sacrilege after his return from a morning walk around 5 am. “I left for my daily walk around 4 am. A Bolero had crossed me, but no pages flew at that time. So, I think this happened afterwards. I heard a motorcycle passing by around 4.45 am,” he said.
“I talked to the family of one Gurdev Singh who were already standing at their door when I walked back home in the khoo (traditional well) wali gali. Before touching the strewn pages, I made an announcement at the village gurdwara,” he said.
The street was cordoned off by a heavy police force under Moga SSP Mukhtinder Singh Bhullar and Faridkot SSP Sukhwinder Singh Mann around 9 am. Villagers sat on the street reciting hymns seeking peace. DIG Amar Singh Chahal had detailed discussion with villagers and following a decision on their behalf, an “ardas” was performed and torn pages of the holy book were taken to the village gurdwara.
Damdami Taksal leader Bhai Amrik Singh Ajnala, former jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Balwant Nandgarh and Bhai Panthpreet also participated in the discussion before deciding on a time frame of inquiry. Jathedar Nandgarh said: “The inquiry report must be ready within eight days failing which a fresh line of action will be announced.”
As per the decision, former chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Board Harinder Singh Brar, along with Head Constable Malkiat Singh, has taken the “sarup” of Guru Granth Sahib to a laboratory in Gujarat.
A senior police officer said a video camera in the neighbourhood Bargari, which witnessed a major sacrilege incident during the ongoing turn of unfortunate events recently, had captured two youths moving in a suspicious manner towards the village. “A cover of the holy book has also been reportedly found there,” he said.
A dog squad and the forensic team of the police also carried out a detailed investigation at the spot.