24/10/2015 2:42 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Kejriwal Goes After Punjab Police, Says 'False Cases' Shouldn't Be Slapped On Sacrilege Protesters

NARINDER NANU via Getty Images
Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal pays his respects at the Golden temple in Amritsar on October 24, 2015. Kejriwal visited the Sikh Shrine to pray for peace and harmony following the death of two people during police firing to control a crowd protesting against the alleged desecration of a Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs, before travelling on to Kotkapura to visit the families of the deceased. AFP PHOTO/ NARINDER NANU (Photo credit should read NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)

AMRITSAR -- Terming as painful the alleged incidents of desecration of holy books, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said it was a "willful act" to disturb Punjab as he prayed at the Golden Temple here for "return of peace" in the state

It "is unfortunate and painful. It seems it is a willful act by somebody who wanted to disturb peace in the state," Kejriwal told reporters here after he arrived on his first visit to Punjab since becoming the Chief Minister in February and was set to meet families of two Sikhs killed in police firing during anti-desecration protests at Faridkot

The AAP leader condemned the police action, saying it was wrong to use force against people who were protesting peacefully against acts of sacrilege

Kejriwal said it was the responsibility of Punjab government to arrest the real culprits behind the incidents of desecration of holy books, saying no innocent person should be slapped with "false cases"

He refused to answer more queries, saying he was here to pray for peace in Punjab

"Golden Temple has great spiritual power and I prayed before the Almighty for early peace and normalcy to get rid of current turmoil in Punjab," he said after paying obeisance at the Sikh shrine

His visit to Punjab assumes significance as AAP is eying the 2017 Assembly polls and has re-structured its unit in the state, where it won its four seats in the last Lok Sabaha elections. The fledgling AAP recently suspended two of the MPs for "anti-party" activities

While paying obeisance at the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Golden Temple, Kejriwal preferred to go inside along with other devotees, ignoring the VIP passage

Thereafter, he also paid obeisance in front of Akal Takht (the highest Sikh Temporal Seat)

Earlier before entering Golden Temple, he was he was honoured with Siropa (robe of honour) and presented a set of Sikh religious books at the information centre. However, he did not register his visit in the visitors' book of the shrine

After paying obeisance, he went to Kotkapura by road to meet families of two persons who were killed in police firing

Alleged incidents of sacrilege took place at seven villages in the state in the recent past plunging the state into turmoil with Sikh protesters blocking highways and other key roads.

Police have so far arrested six persons, mostly working in Sikh shrines, in connection with the sacrilege incidents.

Punjab police has alleged "foreign hand" behind the incidents of sacrilege even as the Centre has sought a report from the Punjab government on the matter.

Also Read: Guru Granth Sacrilege: Police Arrests 6 People In Connection With 7 Cases Of Holy Books Desecration


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