LUDHIANA: Panic gripped Chander Nagar area of Civil Lines in the city on Monday as torn pages of Ramayana and Gita were found scattered on the road in the morning. Following a complaint, police nabbed four children – aged between 9 and 14 years – of migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Commissioner of police Paramraj Singh Umranangal told TOI that CCTV footages from several places helped cops identify the children who were seen throwing the pages on the road. The kids, who are students of a nearby school, will be produced before the juvenile magistrate.
As news of the incident spread, members of various Hindu groups, including Bajrang Dal and VHP, gathered at the spot. Additional police force was also deployed in the area. State convenor of BJP’s industrial cell Ravinder Arora said, “The incident happened around 6pm on Sunday. In the morning, a local boy saw the pages and informed us. The pages were strewn on the road from New Deep Nagar to Chander Nagar. We collected the pages and handed them over to police.”
Division Number Four police registered a case under Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class) of IPC. Additional deputy commissioner of police (crime) Gurtejinder Singh said that the CCTV footages clearly showed the four children carrying a polythene bag and throwing the torn pages on the road. The Punjab government has been under severe flak from Sikh groups for not being able to control the sacrilege incidents, which were reported from several parts of the state during the past one month.
The government was also criticized for ordering firing on Sikh protesters on October 14. The first incident of desecration was reported from Faridkot’s Bargari village where 112 torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib were found, triggering widespread protests across the state.