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  • Punjabi community in Federation Square (SBS Punjabi Radio)Source: SBS Punjabi Radio
On 12th October, more than 100 pages of the religious text "Guru Granth Sahib" were found strewn in Bargari village of Punjab in India. Members of Sikh religious organisations from other parts of the state joined the protests as more such incidents came to light. A Melbourne based India man has been accused of paying an India national to attack the religious text. But he has denied the accusation.
By
Shamsher Kainth

24 Oct 2015 - 12:27 AM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2016 - 8:51 AM

Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the central religious text of Sikhism, considered by Sikhs to be the final, sovereign guru among the lineage of 10 Sikh Gurus of the religion. It is a voluminous text of 1430 pages, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus from 1469 to 1708 and is a collection of hymns or Baani describing the qualities of God and the necessity for meditation on God's holy name.

Various sacrileges of scriptures of the Guru Granth Sahib have occurred in Punjab since 12th October in Bargari, Faridkot, where 112 pages were found damaged. The incidents ended up with the arrest of the brothers Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh on Tuesday 20th October, after the Police intercepted some of their phone calls.

Melbourne based man accused of supporting the desecration

The Indian newspaper "The Times of India" quoted the Director-General of Police Iqbal Preet Sahota: “the two brothers have been talking to their masters abroad, including Dubai and Australia, and discussed about delivery of cash to them in lieu of their acts of sacrilege”.

Melbourne based Sukhjit Singh Deol has been accused of paying Rupinder Singh. But in an exclusive interview with Shamsher Kainth in SBS Radio Punjabi, Sukhjit Singh Deol has denied the accusations. He explains his phone conversation with Rupinder Singh was presented out of context.

Listen to SBS Radio exclusive interview (in Punjabi language)

In the interview, Sukhjit Singh Deol tells SBS Punjabi that he had sent money to Rupinder Singh to cover his medical treatment's costs. Sukhjit has refuted the allegations that he had funded the desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in the village of Bargadi.

On Tuesday, the police in Punjab released an audio of a telephone conversation between Sukhjit and Rupinder Singh, discussing monetary payments. In another recording, Rupinder is talking to his brother about the torn pages of the Sikh holy book.

Sukhjit Singh also says he was shocked when he knew what Punjab police was implying. Sukhjit had organised a payment of AUD 1000 to Rupinder Singh through a private money transfer service. "The money was pooled in by around ten friends of mine in order to help fund Rupinder's treatment." 

Sukhjit Says he was innocent, and has all the proofs to establish he is right. He says he is worried about the case filed by Punjab police, and is now planning to present proof of his innocence to authorities in Australia.

Punjabi community in Melbourne condemn incidents in Punjab

On Sunday 18th October, the Punjabi community in Melbourne came together to condemn the incidents in their homeland. The demonstration was held on Sunday evening at Federation Square.