A woman was shot dead for allegedly consuming alcohol inside the precincts of a Gurdwara – the worshipping place for the Sikhs. The incident happened in the Patiala district of Punjab, India, on Sunday. The woman, who has been identified as Parminder Kaur, 35, was reportedly an addict, who was shot dead by Nirmaljit Singh Saini, a regular visitor to the gurdwara.
Police have made an arrest and launched an investigation into the incident. Kaur was reportedly under the influence of alcohol when she was shot. Another devotee was also injured in the incident. Both were rushed to the hospital where Kaur was pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
Killed for Hurting Religious Sentiments
According to local media reports, Kaur was consuming alcohol near the Sarovar (holy water tank) of Gurdwara Dukhniwarn Sahib in Patiala. A group of devotees noticed her and decided to take her to the manager of the gurdwara.
The police said that Parvinder allegedly tried to hit back at the staff but was immediately overpowered and taken to the Gurdwara manager to be further handed over to the police.
However, Nirmaljeet Singh Saini who was watching this lost his cool and shot Kaur in a fit of rage, police said. "Saini fired five rounds at the woman with his 32-bore licensed revolver," an official statement said.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, SSP Varun Sharma said that Kaur "was consuming liquor sitting near the Sarovar (holy pond) at Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib. She was carrying the alcohol bottle. When other devotees saw this, they objected and took her to the gurdwara manager. They were standing near the manager's office when the accused, identified as Nirmaljit Singh Saini, opened fire with his licensed revolver."
"We have arrested the accused Nirmaljit Singh under IPC sections including murder and the attempt to murder. The accused opened fire in the heat of the moment as he claimed his religious sentiments were hurt."
Horrific video footage from outside the gurdwara shows Kaur, a resident of Urban Estate Phase-1 Patiala, lying dead inside in her own pool of blood.
Another devotee was also injured in the incident. Both were taken to Rajindra Medical College and Hospital where doctors pronounced the woman dead on arrival. The other person sustained minor injuries and his condition is said to be stable.
Saini has been identified as a real estate dealer and has no prior criminal records, according to the police.
Initial investigation has revealed that the victim was an alcohol addict and had also remained admitted for some time to a rehab
Police also said that Kaur was staying in Patiala as a paying guest at an accommodation but her original residence is yet to be traced. No one from the victim's family has reached out to the police yet.