Kapurthala Gurdwara caretaker arrested in lynching case

Aparna Banerjee

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 24

The Kapurthala police have arrested Amarjeet Singh (55), the grantee of the Gurdwara located at Nizampur More, in connection with the lynching of a youth on December 19.

More than 100 unidentified people have also been booked. The video of the youth being tied up and beaten up by the mob was live-streamed on social media.

The arrests came hours after CM Charanjit Singh Channi’s statement on Friday morning that sacrilege was denied in the Kapurthala incident. He had said that the case is of murder and an FIR will be registered against him.

IG Gurinder Singh Dhillon said, “Granthi of Nizampur Gurdwara Amarjit Singh has been arrested. 100 unidentified people have also been booked for lynching of youths. Rest of the people, including 25 to 30 armed men, are unidentified.” But we have videos and pictures and they will be identified and arrested. We cannot allow lynchings to happen.”

While Kapurthala SSP HPS Khakh confirmed that an FIR has been registered against the caretaker of the gurdwara, the Kapurthala police remained silent on the incident till this afternoon. Sources said police are on the lookout for 100 other accused and more arrests will be made soon.

150 to 200 people had gathered in the gurdwara after Amarjeet and his servitors caught the young man, whom they suspected had come with the intention of sacrilege. Granthi had broadcast the program live from the gurdwara and also announced the gathering of people. According to police officials, by the time the police reached the spot after an hour and a half, most of them had been injured.

The police post is on the other side of the road, near the Gurudwara.

A scuffle broke out between the police and the mob and at least three police officers were injured as the police tried to free the youth from the room where he was tied up.

Meanwhile, till Friday morning only the FIR was registered and that was a case of sacrilege under Section 295-A of the IPC. It remained an official FIR for several days, even as the IG himself called it a case of theft and not sacrilege.

The police were waiting for the official post-mortem report regarding the cause of death of the youth. But after the post-mortem of the youth by the Medical Board on Thursday, marks of serious injury were found on his body with a sharp weapon. An FIR was registered on Friday on the charge of murder, following which Granthi was arrested.