A man has been arrested in connection with the vandalism of a Shiv Temple in Saroud Village, Ahmedgarh, district Malerkotla in Punjab. The Shivling and other Murthis in the Temple were damaged in the intervening night between the 9th and 10th of July. The arrest comes after Hindus in the area went on a hunger strike demanding justice.
The Police said in a press note, “On date 10.07.21 Sarpanch Gurbachan Singh of Village Sarod informed Police officials of PS Sadar Ahmadgarh that on the outskirts of Village Sarod on Malerkotla Road, a Shiv temple is situated which was built in year 1972 by Pandit Sh. Radha krishan and their family is Looking after the temple and taking cam of it since generations. Today in morning time at around 6 AM, when Pujari Tek Chand reached the temple premises, he saw that Shivling and Nandigan statues were in damaged condition which seems to be handiwork of some unknown anti social person/persons, which has caused hurt to the religious sentiments of common people. Therefore, Fir no 75 dated 10-7-2021 u/s 295 A, 34 IPC PS Sadar Ahmadgarh was registered in this regard.” (sic)
The press note stated further, “Regarding investigation of abovesaid case, under the able guidance and effective supervision of Smt. Kanwardeep Kaur, IPS, SSP Malerkotla and Sh. Harmeet Singh Hundal, PPS SP(D) Malerkotla and under supervision of Sh. Amandeep Singh Brar, PPS, SP Malerkotla and Sh. Sandeep Kumar Wadhera, PPS , DSP Ahmadgarh, the police party of SHO PS Sadar Ahmadgarh SI Harmesh Singh achieved huge success when they were able to apprehend and arrest the accused Jatinder Singh @ Jyoti s/o Damtar Singh r/o village Mauladudh, PS Maloud from near drain pull towards Khanpur side.”
“The police remand of the abovesaid accused Jatinder Singh @ Jyoti is being sought after producing him in Hon’ble Court and further investigation in the case is being carried out.
Details of cases registered against accused: 1. Fir No. 145 Date 20.11.2008 U/s 457, 380 IPC PS Malerkotla 2. Fir No. 53 Date 14.06.2009 U/s 457, 380 IPC PS Amargarh 3. Fir No. 57 Date 14.06.2009 U/s 392, 506, 34 IPC PS Amargarh,” it added.
OpIndia reached out to SHO PS Sadar Ahmadgarh SI Harmesh Singh who said that Police came to know about the incident on July 10. “We have arrested accused Jatinder Singh. He already had multiple FIRs registered against him. Investigation is underway,” he stated.
Aman Thapar, district President Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Malerkotla, had said that the attack was an attempt to create disharmony between communities. Vijay Dholewal, Dharam Pracharak, Bajrang Dal Sangrur had also said that Hindu places of worship are being targeted.