On Wednesday, October 21, Punjab police cracked one of the seven cases of sacrilege of Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib. Two brothers were arrested who reportedly committed the offence in connection with someone in Australia.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) under Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) IPS Sahota was constituted after the sacrilege incident in Bargari village gurudwara, Faridkot. After investigation at six other places in Punjab, it was concluded that the accused became soft targets of anti-national forces due to greed and ambition of becoming rich.

Jaswinder Singh, of Panjgrain village of Faridkot, was arrested in connection with the first incident of sacrilege in Bargari village where a violent clash erupted between police and Sikh protesters in which two persons were killed.

"Police took them into custody after intercepting their mobile calls between 14 to 16 October. The brothers were in touch with someone in Australia," said IPS Sahota. He also read out the transcripts of the calls between the two brothers before media in Chandigarh.

The ADGP said more details of the investigations, including the foreign links, will be studied in a couple of days as Punjab Police is searching for the missing links and trying to identify the persons who were operating from abroad and also their local conduits.

He did not give out the details of the accused who was operating from abroad fearing that by doing so they might compromise the investigation.

Five men and a woman have been arrested so far who were involved in the sacrilege that took place in Faridkot, Sangrur, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Tarn Taran. In Bhathinda and Ferozpur the police are expecting a breakthrough.

"They all are working in the gurudwaras, some of them are granthis. S ikh shrine sewadar Hardev Singh had himself confessed to the crime ," said the ADGP.

Later the ADGP added that the Behbal Kalan village firing incident, where two people died, is being separately probed. The brothers are baptised Sikhs and had links with several organisations. He ruled out involvement of followers of Dera Sacha Sauda behind the incidents of sacrilege. The police is probing the incidents at Ferozepur and Bathinda and assured that culprits will be caught soon.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who also holds Home portfolio, described the incidents as unfortunate and assured strictest punishments to the culprits and also asked people to pray. Punjab is on the boil due to a series of incidents of sacrilege of 'birs' (scriptures) of Guru Granth Sahib at seven places in the past one week which led to protests by Sikh organisations who blocked traffic at various places.

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