2021 Lynchings for sacrilege in Punjab

Deaths 2
Location Amritsar, Punjab, India
Died Unknown
Date 18–19 December 2021
Criminal penalty Unknown


The 2021 Lynchings for sacrilege in Punjab refers to the widely reported lynching incidents that occurred between December 18-19, 2021, at two Sikh temples in Punjab, India in which enraged mobs killed 2 men in response to alleged acts of sacrilege.

Lynching incidents

First Incident (18 December)

The first incident took place on December 18, 2021 at the Amritsar Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for Sikhs, when a man allegedly barged into the inner sanctum, where Sikhism's holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, is kept. The man grabbed a ceremonial sword placed next to the holy book; but was overpowered by Sikh guards and worshippers, and then beaten to death before the Police arrived at the scene.

Second Incident (19 December)

The second lynching incident took place in the early hours of December 19, 2021, when another man was accused of sacrilege after he allegedly tried to remove the Sikh flag, Nishan Sahib, from a Sikh temple in Kapurthala, Punjab. The Kapurthala police claimed as per preliminary investigations, it seemed to be a case of theft and there was no evidence of sacrilege. However, the Sikh granthi, Amarjit Singh claimed that the youth had attempted sacrilege as the man fiddled with the holy Nishan Sahib flag; and therefore, the local sewadars caught hold of the suspect and tied him up in the store room, where he was beaten up to death.


The Punjab Police reported that the victims remained unidentified as the Police did not find any Identity Card with them, but attempts were on to identify them by reviewing the security footage of the shrines. Meanwhile, the Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh condemned the “sacrilege” attempt at the Golden Temple and sought a thorough investigation. Further, some intellectuals have noted that the silence of most political leaders on the lynching of the alleged culprits at the holy shrines of the Sikhs, was disturbing.