Man Climbs On Idol Platform At Punjab Temple, Arrested

Last month, two men accused of desecrating Sikh religious sentiments in Punjab's Amritsar and Kapurthala were killed by mobs

Man Climbs On Idol Platform At Punjab Temple, Arrested

A CCTV camera shows the man in jacket (right) before he climbs on the platform

Chandigarh:

A man has been arrested for climbing on the idol platform at a temple in Punjab's Patiala. The incident, which comes days before elections in the state, has been condemned by leaders of several political parties, including Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.

In the incident captured on CCTV camera, a man is seen standing in front of the platform for some time and appearing to pray. However, he suddenly climbs on the platform and runs towards the idol and touches it. People grab him and pull him aside.

"Today around 2.30 pm, a person arrived at Sri Kali Mata Mandir in Patiala and climbed on the threshold where the idol of Sri Kali Mata Ji was installed. Following this, he was caught and handed over to the police," the Chief Minister told news agency ANI.

Last month, two men accused of desecrating Sikh religious sentiments in Punjab's Amritsar and Kapurthala were killed by mobs.

Several leaders tweeted to condemn today's incident.

"Strongly condemn sacrilege at Kali Mata mandir, Patiala. We feared and warned against conspiracy by forces from outside Punjab to spread communal hatred among Hindus and Sikhs shrines. Worst fears coming true. Let's all stay united against them to preserve peace and communal harmony," Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal tweeted.

The Aam Aadmi Party's chief ministerial candidate, Bhagwant Mann, said attempts have been made "to desecrate the Darbar Sahib and now the Kali Mata Mandir in Patiala".

"...Some people want to spoil the communal harmony of Punjab. No one will dare to do such a thing again," Mr Mann tweeted.

The alleged incidents of sacrilege last month had caused tension in the state where sacrilege is a highly emotive issue.

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