A man was beaten to death on Sunday in Punjab’s Nizampur village after he allegedly attempted to commit sacrilege, NDTV reported. The villagers said that they saw the man disrespecting the Nishan Sahib, the Sikh flag, around 4 am. He was caught from a gurdwara.

The assault took place a day after a man was killed in Amritsar city after he allegedly attempted to commit sacrilege at the Golden Temple.

On Sunday, the police took the man in their custody and kept him in a room in the gurdwara, News18 reported. However, the villagers and members of various Sikh organisations insisted that the man should be questioned in front of them. After this, the villagers clashed with the police and allegedly killed the man.

Gurdwara manager Amarjit Singh said that the man had tried to escape the gurdwara premises after disrespecting the flag, the Hindustan Times reported. “The youth was sent by someone from New Delhi to attempt sacrilege for money, he confessed the same,” he said.

On Sunday evening, Jalandhar Range Inspector General GS Dhillon denied allegations of sacrilege in Nizampur, The Tribune reported. He said that the man had tried to break into the gurdwara, however nothing was stolen.

The police have registered a case under Indian Penal Code Sections 305 (abetment of suicide of child or insane person) was registered against unknown persons who comprised the mob. Charges of murder will be added after verification, the police said.

Punjab Director General of Police Siddharth Chattopadhyaya said in a tweet: “Any attempt to violate the communal harmony in the state will be dealt with a firm hand. Stern action will be taken against all those disturbing the law and order in Punjab.”

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Man killed in Amritsar after allegedly attempting sacrilege at Golden Temple

Golden temple case

On Saturday, a man had entered the Golden Temple shrine by jumping over a metal grill and tried to pick up a kirpan (ceremonial sword) kept in front of the Sikh holy text Guru Granth Sahib.

Amritsar Deputy Commissioner of Police Parminder Singh Bhandal said that the man was escorted by devotees to the corridors, where a violent altercation took place leading to the man’s death.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi condemned the incident and asked the police to investigate the matter and find out the underlying motive behind the assault. The police have said that they will check the CCTV footage for the inquiry.

Shiromani Akali Dal leader Prakash Singh Badal on Saturday said that the attempt to commit sacrilege was reprehensible and had caused “deep anguish and outrage in minds of Sikh masses all over the world”.

He said that the possibility of a conspiracy behind the incident at the Golden Temple could not be ruled out.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that the man possibly came with the sole purpose to commit sacrilege as he was at the Golden Temple for nine or ten hours, ANI reported. He also pushed for 10-year imprisonment for persons who are found guilty of sacrilege.

“In 2018, [the] state government passed and sent a proposal to the government of India to make min 10 years imprisonment under Section 295A, to whoever causes injury, damage or sacrilege to Guru Granth Sahib, Bhagwad Geeta, Quran and Bible,” he said. “I will write again to the government regarding it.”

Indian Penal Code Section 295A provides for punishment for those who show deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any citizens.