In the aftermath of sacrilege incidents in Punjab, the demand for justice and stringent punishment for sacrilege has gained momentum. Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Monday urged the Centre to get President’s assent on the two impending state bills on sacrilege, which provides for jail term up to life imprisonment for anyone causing damage to Guru Granth Sahib. The two bills- The Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill 2018 were cleared by the state assembly and received Governor’s assent in 2018 but are awaiting President’s assent.
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, in a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, wrote that the sacrilege of holy books is becoming a major issue in Punjab. Terming the current legal provisions inadequate to deal with the situation, he emphasized that Punjab being a border state, it is extremely important to maintain communal harmony and deterrent punishment is a must for those trying to disturb the communal harmony by indulging in such sacrileges, thus requesting Presidential assent for the said bills.
Meanwhile, Harjinder Singh Dhami, President of Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee, announced the formation of an inquiry panel to investigate the matter. He also claimed that there is a ‘big conspiracy’ behind the alleged sacrilege attempt at the Golden Temple as the man involved in it seemed to have received commando training.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident and called for a sitting high court judge to probe the matter. He said that instead of a police probe, the state government should have go the matter investigated by a sitting high court judge as there is a need to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, on the other hand, pointed out towards a conspiracy to divide people and attack a community. He said that people can get sacrilege incidents done in the name of vote politics.