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Man attempts sacrilege at Patiala temple

CHANDIGARH: A man was arrested here for an alleged sacrilege bid at the historic Kali temple in Patiala on Monday, police said.

In a video, which surfaced on social media, the man is seen climbing the enclosure of the temple and reached the place where the idol of the goddess is placed, said police.

The accused has been identified as Rajbir Singh, resident of Nainkalan village, Patiala Deputy Superintendent of Police Ashok Kumar said over the phone.

The accused has been arrested and a case under relevant sections, including 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC has been registered against him, said the DSP.

Meanwhile, several political leaders condemned the incident and expressed fear of spreading of communal hatred by some vested interests ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls.

Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi tweeted, “Today around 2.30 pm, a person arrived at Sri Kali Mata Mandir in Patiala and climbed on the threshold where the Idol of Sri Kali Mata Ji was installed. Following this, he was caught and handed over to police.”

“Some vested interests are continuously trying to destabilise the social harmony of Punjab in view of the upcoming elections but I will not let them succeed in their malicious motives,” he said.

Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh also condemned the incident and said, “Repetitive attempts to disturb peace in Punjab will not be tolerated. I urge @ECISVEEP to take strict action so that the atmosphere in the state is not disturbed.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said conspiracies to spoil the atmosphere in Punjab are continuing as he condemned the sacrilege attempt in Patiala.

“The attempt of sacrilege at Shri Kali Mata Mandir of Patiala is highly condemnable. The accused should be given strict punishment,” said Kejriwal in a tweet.

He also mentioned the sacrilege bid at the Golden Temple in Amritsar last month. The AAP leader demanded that those who conspire to carry out sacrilege incidents should be exposed and be given the strictest punishment.

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also condemned the incident.

He said in a tweet, “We feared & warned against conspiracy by forces from outside Punjab to spread communal hatred among Hindus and Sikhs shrines. Worst fears coming true. Let’s all stay united against them to preserve peace & communal harmony.”

Badal said in another tweet, “This is just one more of the countless acts of sacrilege in Punjab under Congress rule. Complicity in these heinous acts or utter failure to maintain law & order and preserve harmony? Come clean @CHARANJITCHANNI.”

Punjab BJP leader Subhash Sharma also condemned the sacrilege bid at the Patiala temple.

A sacrilege bid had also taken place inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple in Amritsar last month and later the man was beaten to death. (PTI)

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