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Thursday, February 29, 2024

After the Morinda 'Sacrilege' Row, Punjab Police Launch a Special Statewide Security Drive at Religious Facilities

The Punjab police on Tuesday conducted a special security exercise at all religious locations in the state to guarantee security and keep a vigilant eye out for nefarious elements, a day after a sacrilege incident in a gurdwara in Morinda.

After a local Sikh kid attacked priests and then engaged in “sacrilege” inside the gurdwara on Monday, tensions were high.

Local resident Jasbir Singh (36), who was wearing shoes, is accused of jumping over the railing of the sanctum sanctorum and assaulting the priests who were there. Sources claim that the accused, an electrician, also disposed of the holy book.

After the event, a high-level conference was organized to assess security measures surrounding churches, temples, and other places of worship including gurdwaras.

The teams checked the operation of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at these locations. In accordance with the Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav's instructions, the checking was carried out in each of the state's 28 police districts.

According to Special DGP (Law and Order) Arpit Shukla, CPs/SSPs have been told to assign a team to work under each police station's Additional Station House Officer to visit all the houses of worship within their jurisdiction and attend security review meetings with the management committee members.

According to him, at least 549 police teams totaling 2,800 people conducted inspections at 795 churches, 2,236 temples, and up to 7,612 gurdwaras across the state.

Shukla also exhorted the management committees of all the gurdwaras, temples, and churches to always exercise caution in order to avoid any unfavorable incidents at their various places of worship. He instructed them to examine the status of the CCTV cameras on a weekly basis.

He also suggested that the management committees station security officers at the entrances of their respective places of worship. Additionally, CPs and SSPs have been instructed to enhance police patrols around all houses of worship in order to better monitor anti-social groups.

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