Statue vandalized, parish priest’s vehicle burnt in Punjab
Patti, Aug 31, 2022: Some unidentified miscreants on August 31 vandalized a Marian statue kept in front of a church in Patti, an old town in the northern Indian state of Punjab. They also set ablaze the car of the parish priest.
According to a message from Father Thomas Poochalil, the parish priest of Infant Jesus Catholic Church in Patti, the “shocking incident” took place around 12:45 am.
While some kept the security guards under gun point two others attacked the statue and the car.
According to a report in truescoopnews.com, four people were involved in the act. It also reported that Christians jammed the Patti-Khemkaran road in the morning. They also staged a sin-in demanding justice as well as the arrest of the accused. Police tried to convince the people to calm down.
Father Poochalil said the miscreants raised slogans, ‘We are Khalistanis.”
The church’s CCTV footage shows the miscreants taking the head of Mother Mary’s statue with them.
The parish comes under the diocese of Jalandhar and Patti town near Tarn Taran is some 50 km south of Amritsar, the holy city of Sikhs.
Father Poochalil said the parish has informed the police, who have started investigation into the incident.
The priest sought prayers for the safety for the residents of the church campus at “at this shocking time.” He also urged people to pray to Our Lady Queen of Peace, their patron, to bring peace and tranquility to the area and bring the culprits before the law.
The news portal truescoopnews.com said sectarian tensions flared after the incident, which took place after the Akal Takht Jathedar, head of the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, issued a statement against “forced conversions” of Sikhs by Christian missionaries. Nihang Sikhs had also protested against the issue two days ago.
The portal also pointed out the incident took place days after a clash between Christians and Nihangs in the village.
On August 28, Nihangs reportedly stopped an ongoing program of Christians in Jandiala Guru’s village Dandua and destroyed everything in the program. A case was registered against 150 Nihangs.
The Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Giani Harprit Singh on August 30 issued a statement opposing the government to register the case against Nihangs. He said, “The Christian priests are misleading Hindus and Sikhs by hypocrisy and getting them converted. Many times, Nihangs complained about this, but the government did not listen to them.”
The Nihang or Akali (the immortals) is an armed Sikh warrior order believed to have originated either from Fateh Singh and the attire he wore or from the “Akali” started by Guru Hargobind, according to Wikipedia.com.
Early Sikh military history was dominated by the Nihang, known for their victories where they were heavily outnumbered. Traditionally known for their bravery and ruthlessness in the battlefield, the Nihang once formed the irregular guerrilla squads of the armed forces of the Sikh Empire, the Sikh Khalsa Army.
This article is published on https://mattersindia.com/