Ranjodh says she didn’t protest much either, even making her family think she was the culprit.
While Ranjodh was released, Balwinder was sentenced under sections 295A and 34 of the IPC and spent another two months in prison. The Granthi was also booked, but under section 201 of the IPC for missing evidence.
Asked about her possible motive behind the act, Ranjodh said “it’s between her and Rabb (God)”. He refuses to say more.
Reports from that year say that Balwinder kept changing his statement to the police. At one point, she said a local congressional leader promised her money instead of sacrilege.
Police told media she was a long-time member of Shiromani Akali Dal, but the party denied.
A Hindustan times report says that Balwinder committed the act as a “conspiracy” to sack the Granthi. The new Granthi had replaced his eldest son Ranjeet Singh. Balwinder was unhappy with the change as gurudwara income had fallen. She had hoped that the blame would fall on the Granthi and that she would be shown the door.
The investigation revealed that when she disclosed the sacrilege incident to the Granthi at around 4 a.m., he asked her not to talk about it.
When asked if the villagers, especially the Jatts, had harassed him or his family for what his mother was accused of, Ranjodh replied, “If they did, would I still be living in? this village ? “
Ranjodh says the first thing he did after returning from prison was to collect all of his mother’s photos and belongings and burn them. “She had ceased to mean anything to me,” he said.
Ranjodh says it was her mother who introduced her to the Sikh tradition. âWe were indeed Sikhs, but we had not been baptized. I used to be clean shaven, but shortly after my father died my mother took me to a gurudwara in Ludhiana for Amrit sanskar, âhe says.
After the ceremony, he gave up meat, alcohol, and tobacco and began sporting a beard – traditions he maintains to this day.
âI thank her for that,â he said. “But given what she did to Guru Granth Sahib, she lost all respect in my eyes.”
Sikhs regard Adi Granth, a collection of nearly 6,000 hymns of Sikh gurus, as a living guru and worship him as a deity. Hence the name, Guru Granth Sahib.
The book is the central object of Sikh worship. According to a published edict by Akal Takht in 1998, the printing rights of the book are reserved to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). Any other institution wishing to publish the text must obtain authorization from the SGPC.
When Balwinder was released on bail in December 2015, the family made her stay with relatives in Ludhiana. She had been ex-communie of Ghawaddi. Ranjodh says she visited once or twice, but stealthily at night.
She was shot dead in July 2016. The main accused, Gurpreet Singh Jagowal, was found to be a member of a Malerkotla-based organization called the Muslim-Sikh Front of Punjab.
Gurpreet and his co-accused Nihal had lured Balwinder to meet them outside Gurudwara Manji Sahib in Alamgir by promising him that they would take him to the Golden Temple to apologize to Akal Takht so that it can be declared “pure” thereafter.
Ghawaddi’s sarpanch refused her family’s request to let her cremated in her own village. She was in a cremation place near the Arora cinema in Ludhiana. Even this was contested by locals and had to be done under strict police security.
No one from his village, apart from a few members of his family, attended the funeral.
Ranjodh is indifferent to her mother’s murder. He even qualifies it as âinevitableâ.
âIt had to end this way. There is no other punishment for our guru’s sacrilege than death, âhe said.
When asked if he justifies murder, Ranjodh becomes more cautious. “Well, ideally she should have been hanged by the government.”
âBut maybe God wanted it that way,â he adds.