Kapurthala, April 25: 15 people were charged by the Kapurthala police station for kidnapping and assaulting three elderly sikhs who had recited the Guru Granth Sahib at a shrine. A video was circulated on YouTube and Facebook, showing a group of men beating up the elderly Sikhs and the latter crying and asking for mercy.
These assaulters were allegedly from the Satkar Committee, which is responsible for the religious safekeeping. The group is against the recitation of the Holy Book in any other place than the gurudwara.
The incident is said to have taken place on March 29 when the victims-Mahinder Singh, Gurmail Singh and Gurnam Singh-were taken captive on their way back home and taken to an isolated village near Sultanpur Lodhi town, where they were beaten up mercilessly.
One of the victims said,"On March 27 we had gone to Sidhupur village near Shahkot to recite the Guru Granth Sahib. Two days later on March 29, when we were returning home, we were kidnapped and locked inside a room where the members of Satkar Committed beat us up, disrespected our turbans and threatened us. They also recorded the video."
Sultanpur Lodhi DSP Davinder Singh said,"We have registered a case under sections 307, 382, 365, 342, 295A, 406, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code against the head of Satkar Committee and others at the Talwandi Chaudharian police station. One of the accused, Karamjit Singh, has also been arrested."
Meanwhile, reactions started pouring in from various religious groups like the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). Chief Avtar Singh Makkar said,"SGPC will not allow any organisation to resort to such acts which would distance Sikhs from Sikhism. Satkar Committee had no right to violate the law."