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Nihang Sikh kills youth over alleged sacrilege at gurdwara in Punjab's Kapurthala

A Nihang Sikh, identified as Ramandeep Singh Mangu Math, allegedly killed a young man at a gurdwara in Punjab's Kapurthala district, citing suspicions of sacrilege. He posted a video on social media taking responsibility for the killing

Nihang Sikh kills youth over alleged sacrilege at gurdwara in Punjab's Kapurthala
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First Published Jan 16, 2024, 11:07 AM IST

A Nihang Sikh named Ramandeep Singh Mangu Math allegedly killed a young man at a gurdwara in Punjab's Kapurthala district, citing suspicions of sacrilege. Math went on to share a video on social media taking responsibility for the killing, claiming that the victim had confessed to being sent to commit sacrilege. The accused has barricaded himself within the premises of the Chaura Khooh gurdwara in Phagwara town.

A senior police officer confirmed the incident, stating, "A Nihang Sikh killed a youth at Gurudwara Shri Choura Khooh Sahib over suspicions of sacrilege. Investigation is underway," Superintendent of Police Gurpreet Singh said.

Math, the accused in the case, recorded a video of the youth before reportedly committing the murder and subsequently barricaded himself inside the gurdwara. Math asserted that the individual confessed in the video to being sent to the gurdwara for sacrilege. Police recovered the body of the youth suspected of committing sacrilege at the gurdwara. However, his identity remains unknown. As of now, the accused has not been apprehended.

This marks the second episode of violence involving Nihang Sikhs in Kapurthala within the past three months. In November, a policeman lost his life when a group of Nihangs opened fire at police officers attempting to clear encroachments within a gurdwara, which had become a focal point of dispute between two factions. Five individuals were arrested in connection with that incident.

Nihangs, members of a Sikh warrior group with roots tracing back to the establishment of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699, are recognizable by their distinctive blue robes and often carry traditional weapons such as swords. Over the years, they have been implicated in various gruesome killings, many of which are associated with allegations of sacrilege.

In a disturbing incident in 2020, during the height of the COVID lockdown, a group of Nihangs severed a policeman's hand with a sword in Patiala after he requested them to present mandatory 'movement passes.' The investigation into the recent gurdwara killing is ongoing, shedding light on the complex challenges surrounding such incidents involving religious sentiments.

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