Malerkotla: The incident of sacrilege is back to haunt Punjab. Violence erupted in Malerkotla, Muslim dominated sleepy town in Sangrur district, when the copies of Quran were found to be allegedly desecrated at around 10 pm near Jurg Chowk in the town on Friday night, which led to violence and arson. A series of incidents of desecrating Guru Granth Sahib had rocked the state last year. A curfew-like situation which emerged subsequently saw the top brass of Punjab Police (PP) rushing to the spot.
The town, which is known for communal peace and harmony, was dotted with cops to ensure the situation does not further worsen. However, a number of vehicles were damaged and incidents of arson ripped apart the city by the time the police swung into action. In all, six vehicles were damaged including two buses. One vehicle belonging to the security personnel of SAD MLA Farzana Alam was also damaged by the mob at her residence in Old Malerkotla locality.
Initial investigations by the police suggest, as revealed by sources, that there was no role of any other communities in the violence. “It seems to be the handiwork of groupism among Muslims,” said police sources. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Pritpal Singh Thind said the guilty would be arrested soon. “We are not going to allow anyone to disturb communal harmony and peace in the area. We have deployed enough police forces in the town to keep unscrupulous elements under absolute check,” added Thind.
Police said that torn pieces of holy Quran were noticed by some members of the Muslims community and raised alarm, following which a large number of Muslims assembled at Jurg Chowk and they moved towards Ludhiana Chowk, raising slogans. Sources said that some of them torched parked vehicles. From there they proceeded to the residence of SAD MLA Farzana Alam. It is being claimed that they set on fire one MLA’s official vehicles after they failed to get a satisfactory response from her.
Someone among the crowd also spread the rumour about the firing by MLA’s security staff and killing of a protester, which acted as a catalyst and fuelled the mob to indulge in violence. Former DGP Mohammad Izhar Alam and husband of MLA Farzana Alam claimed that the incident was handiwork of a senior Congress leader and an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader. Without naming them, he said that they wanted to take political mileage out of this incident in view of the coming Assembly polls.
CM appeals to maintain peace
Malerkotla: In an obvious move, after the violence took place at Maerkotla following the desecration of holy book Quran Sharif, all political parties on Saturday came out with different reactions. While the Chief Minister appealed all to maintain peace with an assurance that the police would not spare the guilty of the heinous act, the opposition launched sharp attacks on the government claiming the deterioration in law and order system of the state. Here go the reactions on this sensitive issue from different quarters:
Shahi Imam gives ultimatum to government
Chandigarh: Giving an ultimatum to the state government for arresting the accused without any delay, Shahi Imam (Punjab) Mulana-Habib-Ur-Rehman on Saturday announced that if police failed to nab the persons guilty of the sacrilege, the Muslim community would observe the Ramzan Sharif’ last Jumma that falls on coming Friday as ‘black day’.
Mann terms Malerkotla sacrilege unfortunate incident
Chandigarh: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has termed the incident of tearing of pages of holy Quran and subsequent tension occurred in Malerkotla township on Friday evening extremely unfortunate and criticised Punjab government for its failure to protect the holy books of all faiths in the state.
“There have been series of incidents occurred in Punjab of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib but the Punjab police have completely failed to identify and nab the culprits. On the other hand two Sikh men who were protesting against the sacrilege were killed in police firing in Bargadi village last year.” said Mann. DP
Badal condemns incident of desecration of holy Quran Sharif
Chandigarh: In a statement issued on Saturday, the Chief Minister said that nobody will be allowed to disturb the hard earned peace and communal harmony in the state. He appealed the people in general and especially the Muslim brethren to maintain peace, amity and communal harmony at all costs as preached by our great Gurus, Seers and Prophets.
Expressing deep anguish over this unfortunate incident, Chief Minister exhorted the people to keep restraint in such provocative circumstances by displaying the ethos of religious tolerance, unity and brotherhood. Chief Minister further cautioned the anti-social elements which were hell bent upon to tarnish the congenial atmosphere of peace, communal harmony and brotherhood and asked them to desist from their nefarious designs to divide the society on sectarian lines. DP………………
Capt apprehends conspiracy to destabilise Punjab
Bassi Pathana: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday apprehended a conspiracy at the behest of the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to disturb peace and destabilise Punjab ahead of elections.
“It is the matter of six months more and I will personally see to it that all those guilty of pushing our youth into drugs are not only put behind bars, but will ensure that they spend rest of their life in jail for the heinous crime they have committed of killing our youth with drugs”, he said. DP
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