Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], December 20 (ANI): Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who also holds the home portfolio, has urged the Union Government to give nod to The Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 and The Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 in order to ensure stringent punishment to those committing the heinous crime of sacrilege of holy books.
In his letter to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Deputy Chief Minister wrote "I want to bring to your notice that sacrilege of holy books is becoming a major issue in Punjab. Shri Guru Granth Sahib is considered a living Guru and not an object by the Sikhs and it is accorded respect according to Sikh maryada."
"In this context, it was felt that the existing provisions of Section 295 and 295-A of the Indian Penal Code-1860 which provide for a punishment of up to three years are inadequate to deal with this situation. So, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha passed 'The Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 and The Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill 2018' which provide for punishment up to life imprisonment for whoever causing injury, damage or sacrilege to Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagwat Gita, Holy Quran and Holy Bible with the intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people," the letter by Randhawa read.
The letter further stated, "These bills were given assent by the Governor of Punjab on September 12, 2018. However, these bills are pending for assent of the President of India since October, 2018. Punjab being a border State, it is extremely necessary to maintain communal harmony here."
"For this, deterrent punishment is a must for those trying to disturb communal harmony by indulging in the sacrileges. So, I again request that the Presidential assent for the said Bills may kindly be obtained and conveyed to the State Government, at the earliest possible," the letter read.
A man was beaten to death in an altercation by angry devotees after he allegedly attempted to commit sacrilege at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, earlier on December 18.
The incident took place during evening prayers when the man jumped over the metal railing around the Guru Granth Sahib and allegedly attempted to desecrate the Holy Book of the Sikhs with a sword.
Meanwhile, an unidentified man was allegedly beaten to death by locals at Nizampur in Punjab's Kapurthala district on Sunday for allegedly disrespecting the 'Nishan Sahib' at the village Gurudwara.
A video of people beating up the man who allegedly attempted sacrilege with the Nishan Sahib has gone viral on the Internet. He was later handed over to the police but some people reportedly insisted that the man be questioned in front of them and the man was allegedly beaten to death in an ensuing scuffle. (ANI)