Sikh shrine head injured as priest attacks him

Chandigarh, Oct 6 (IANS) The Jathedar (head) of the Takht Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib, the second most important shrine in Sikh religion after the Golden Temple (Harmandar Sahib), was injured when a ‘granthi’ (priest) attacked him with a sharp-edged weapon on Tuesday, police said.

Mal Singh was taken to hospital following the unprovoked attack and discharged after treatment.

The attacker, Joga Singh, who is associated with a gurdwara at Kiratpur Sahib, 12 km from Anandpur Sahib, was overpowered by security guards accompanying the jathedar and handed over to police.

The attacker tried to stab the jathedar but only managed to injure him in the thigh.

Police officials said that the reason behind the attack was being investigated.

Police sources said that the attack could be linked to the recent decision of the five Sikh high priests, including the Keshgarh Sahib jathedar, to pardon controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Security around all five Sikh high priests was scaled up following the recent controversy over the pardon granted by Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, to the sect leader.

The incident took place inside the complex of the Takht Keshgarh Sahib, the gurdwara where Khalsa Panth – the present day Sikh religion, was founded by Guru Gobind Singh on April 13, 1699.

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