Tarn Taran (Punjab): Anti-social elements vandalized the statue of Jesus at a church in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district on Wednesday. After this, the priest’s car was also set on fire. CCTV footage of the entire incident has also surfaced.
Tarn Taran SSP RS Dhillon said that some anti-social elements set the priest’s car on fire after breaking the statue of Jesus in the church. We are probing the matter. Some important clues have come to hand. The incident is from Thakarpur village of Patti assembly constituency of Tarn Taran district.
According to reports, the entire incident has been captured in the CCTV footage installed in and around the church. CCTV footage shows a car engulfed in flames and a broken statue inside the church. Police have said that some masked youths entered the church. After this pointed a pistol at the watchman’s head and tied his hands. The miscreants then ransacked the church and set the priest’s car on fire.
CCTV footage of the church shows a man with a red cloth wrapped over his head and face. After entering the church, he constantly attacks the statue of Jesus with an ax. He breaks the head of the idol and puts it on the ground.
Priest alleges lax security
“Four people came to our campus and destroyed statues and set ablaze our vehicle. They were here for 25 mins. They threatened people and kept security guard at gunpoint. IG reached the spot and assured us of action at the earliest,” Father Thomas P, Catholic Church, Patti told the media.
The incident will be investigated: Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann
After the incident was reported, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann called it unfortunate and assured that no one would be allowed to disturb communal harmony in the state.
“No one will be allowed to break the brotherhood of Punjab. The Tarn Taran incident is very unfortunate. We will investigate it and strict action will be taken against the culprits,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning, a group of Christians protested against the incident and blocked all roads leading to Khemkaran, Bhikhiwind, Patti, Harike and Ferozepur. The protesters demanded immediate arrest of the accused involved in the incident.
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Sikhs allege forced conversions
A day earlier, Christian missionaries were accused of forced conversion on behalf by Sikh groups. Akal Takht Jathedar chief Giani Harpreet Singh had said on Facebook Live a day earlier that Christian missionaries were forcibly converting Sikhs.
“Sikhs and Hindus of Punjab are being misled and converted. All this is happening under the nose of the government. No government is ready to take action against them (missionaries) because of vote bank politics,” he said.
Giani Harpreet Singh alleged that foreign funding is coming to run religious campaigns. He also appealed to the central government to control it immediately. On the other hand, Nihang Sikhs also supported the Akal Takht, saying that fake priests are misleading the Sikhs and converting them. The Nihangs said that a case should be registered against these fake priests under the Black Magic Act.