Indian man beaten to death inside historic Sikh temple

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Indian policemen stand guard outside the office of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the organization responsible for the management of Sikh temples near the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, Sunday, Dec.19, 2021. A man was beaten to death Saturday after he allegedly attempted to commit a sacrilegious act inside the historic temple, one of Sikhs’ most revered shrines. (AP Photo/Prabhjot Gill)

NEW DELHI (AP) — A man was beaten to death in the northern Indian city of Amritsar after he allegedly attempted to commit a sacrilegious act inside the historic Golden Temple, one of Sikhs’ most revered shrines.

The incident occurred during the daily evening prayer on Saturday, media reported, after the man jumped over a railing inside the inner sanctum and attempted to grab a sword that was kept near the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book.

TV footage showed people inside the temple rushing to stop him.

Police told New Delhi Television that the man was killed after the incident and that they were checking CCTV footage to glean more information.

“The man, about 20 to 25 years of age, had a yellow cloth tied on his head and jumped the fence … the people inside held him and escorted him out to the corridor where there was a violent altercation and he died,” Parminder Singh Bandal, deputy commissioner of Amritsar police, told the channel.

The chief minister of Punjab state, where Amritsar is located, strongly condemned the incident, calling it the most “unfortunate and heinous act to attempt sacrilege,” his office tweeted late on Saturday.

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