News Reading Practice #41

(100 Day Challenge)



A MAN belonging to the Nihang sect was arrested on Tuesday in Punjab’s Kapurthala district for allegedly killing an unidentified man who he suspected had come to the historical Gurdwara Sri Chaura Khooh Sahib in Phagwara on Monday night to commit sacrilege.

The accused, Ramandeep Singh Mangu Math, has been booked under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code for murder while the deceased has been booked under Section 295A for hurting religious sentiments.

Math belongs to the Nihang order of Sikh warriors, characterised by their wearing of blue robes and carrying of weapons such as swords and spears.

According to the FIR, the deceased had tried to escape by grabbing Math’s weapon, after which Math wrestled the weapon back from him and killed him with it.

Gurdwara manager Narinder Singh, according to the FIR, told police that the man had entered the gurdwara on Monday night with the intention of committing sacrilege. “Ramandeep Singh Mangu Math was staying at the gurdwara for the night. When I went to inform the police about the incident (of the man entering the gurdwara allegedly with the intention of committing sacrilege), the man attacked Ramandeep Singh, who acted in self-defence and the accused died” the manager told police, as per the FIR.

Math had uploaded a video of the man before allegedly killing him and locking himself inside the gurdwara. In the video, the man is purportedly seen speaking in Punjabi and saying that someone named Sukhi had sent him to the gurdwara to commit sacrilege. He is also heard saying that while he was sent to commit sacrilege, he did not do anything and was innocent.

Kapurthala Senior Superintendent of Police Vatsala Gupta said that an FIR has been registered and all the facts, including the identity of the deceased, are being verified.

Punjab has witnessed several incidents of sacrilege over the past few years. In December 2023, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal had apologised to the Sikh community for failure to apprehend the culprits involved in the 2015 sacrilege cases during the party’s rule.


SACRILEGE: The violation or disrespect of something sacred, especially religious beliefs or objects.

UNIDENTIFIED: Not recognized or known; lacking identification.

HISTORICAL: Pertaining to events or things that happened or existed in the past.

ACCUSED: A person who is charged with a crime or wrongdoing.

BOOKED: Officially charged with a crime; entered into police records.

DECEASED: A person who has died.

SENTIMENTS: Emotions, especially those connected with religious beliefs.

CHARACTERISED: Described or identified by certain characteristics.

GRABBING: Seizing or taking hold of something forcefully.

INTENTION: Purpose or objective; what one plans to do.

COMMITTING: Carrying out or performing a specific action, often a crime.

PURPORTEDLY: Allegedly; supposedly.

IDENTITY: The distinguishing character or personality of an individual or group.

APOLOGISED: Expressed regret or remorse; said sorry.

APPREHEND: To arrest or seize; to capture.