Sacrilege attempts could polarise people on religious lines, foment unrest: Amarinder

Singh also strongly condemned the killing of the two men for their alleged attempts to commit sacrilege at the Golden Temple in Amritsar and a gurdwara in Kapurthala recently.

Published: 22nd December 2021 11:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2021 11:17 PM   |  A+A-

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Amarinder Singh. (Photo | PTI)


CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said incidents like the alleged sacrilege attempt at the Golden Temple could polarise people along religious lines, fomenting unrest in the state.

Singh also strongly condemned the killing of the two men for their alleged attempts to commit sacrilege at the Golden Temple in Amritsar and a gurdwara in Kapurthala recently.

Agencies like Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were desperately waiting for opportunities to exploit such situations in coordination with the sleeper cells of secessionist and terrorist groups, he told reporters.

Referring to the Amritsar incident, Singh said the man involved should have been handed over to police instead of being killed.

"Such incidents have a potential to polarise people along religious lines, which can lead to unrest and trouble in the state," the former CM said.

He had condemned the two lynching on Tuesday as well, saying it was "absolutely unacceptable".

Singh also slammed state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu's for saying that those guilty of sacrilege should be hanged in public, and called the former cricketer's remark shameful.

"We are against sacrilege. There is a Constitution and there is a law in the country. We have to follow the law. If we don't follow the Constitution or the law, how will the country move ahead," he said.

Amarinder Singh had made an unceremonious exit as chief minister in September amid a power tussle with Sidhu.

Later, Singh quit the Congress and floated the Punjab Lok Congress.

Asked about a seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP for the coming assembly polls, Singh said it would be discussed when Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat comes here in the next "two or three days".

Reminded about his allegation that Congress ministers and MLAs were involved in illegal sand mining, Singh again refused to name them.

He said, "Then I will have to start from the top."

Singh said he had urged the BJP-led government at the Centre to give Rs 1 lakh crore to Punjab over five years for crop diversification and encourage farmers to switch from paddy to pulses.

The former CM said there was no point in restarting trade with Pakistan as long as it did not stop funding terror and killing Indian soldiers.

Terror and trade cannot go together, he said.

He said with China and Pakistan coming together, almost becoming "one country", India needed to be more vigilant.

Given its geographical position, Punjab faced more security challenges now, he added.

India also needed to build up a more sophisticated missile system to shoot down drones from across the border, he said.


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