Body with wrist cut off found tied to barricade at Singhu protest site, police detain one person; SKM blames Nihangs

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The Haryana Police has detained one person after the body of a man with one of his wrists chopped off was found near the farmers' protest site at Kundli in Haryana's Sonipat district on Friday.

According to officials, the deceased, Lakhbir Singh, was a labourer from Cheema Khurd village in Punjab's Tarn Taran and was around 35 years old. The police said that the body was found tied to a metal barricade near a stage put up by the farmers protesting against three agriculture laws of the Centre at the site for over 10 months.

The deceased has no criminal record or affiliation with any political party, police said.

The farmers' protest site is located close to the Delhi-Haryana border at Singhu.

"The Kundli police station received information at 5 am that a body was found near the farmers' protest site," a Sonipat police official said. A Sonipat police official said the deceased was found wearing only a pair of shorts.

"A police inspector reached the site with a team and found that the man's body only had his undergarment on and his hands and legs were chopped off. He was hanged to a police barricade. People present there were questioned but nothing was revealed about who is responsible for this. The probe is on," he added.

Initially, some people resisted the entry of the police force in the area and were not cooperating, they added.

The police have taken custody of the body and taken it to a government hospital in Sonipat. Currently, it has been kept in the mortuary room. A case of murder has been registered at the Kundli police station in Sonipat against unidentified persons, police said.

A Haryana Police spokesperson said in Chandigarh that the man died soon after the Sonipat police team reached the spot. "Some people were standing there. When the police tried to take the body away, they protested. After some efforts, the body was brought to the civil hospital," the spokesperson said.

As per reported information, the Nihangs, the warrior Sikh group, are being blamed for the murder.

As per NDTV, a video has emerged showing a group of Nihangs standing over the man €" after his wrist has been cut off and he lies bleeding on the ground, his eyes glazed over in shock and pain.

The Nihangs, some of whom are carrying spears and stand surrounding his body, can be heard demanding the man tell them his name and native village. None of the men in the video make any move to help the man or attend to the horrific wound.

The deceased is heard saying something in Punjabi and pleading before the Nihangs. His body bears wounds. The clip shows the Nihangs repeatedly asking him who had sent him for committing sacrilege.

One of them says the man is a "Punjabi" and not an outsider, and it should not be made into a Hindu-Sikh issue. Another raises a religious chant.

Also read: SKM blames Nihangs for killing man at Singhu border; all we know about the 'fearless' Sikh group

In another video, a man claims that around 3 am, the victim was spotted near the Gurdwara sahib at the protest site by a volunteer. He can purportedly be heard saying: "The unidentified man was trying to pick up the Guru Granth Sahib. A volunteer spotted him. We got hold of him and asked him who had sent him. We broke his leg and chopped off his hand. He has been tied here now. Whoever has sent him can come here now. We will kill him. He has disrespected the holy book. Police can conduct their own investigation." The victim can be seen tied up next to him.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha reacts

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farmer unions leading the agitation against the three new farm laws, alleged that Nihangs were responsible for the murder. The farmers' body said that it was ready to cooperate with the Haryana government for action against the guilty.

SKM leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal told ANI that an attempt was being made to make morcha into a religious issue.

 

 

"When we reached the spot some people were saying that the deceased man, before dying, admitted he was sent by someone & given Rs 30,000. I don't have the video proof of it. Government should probe this matter thoroughly," Dallewal said as per ANI.

A Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Balbir Singh Rajewal earlier alleged, "Nihangs are behind the incident. They have accepted it."

The SKM said it wants to make it clear that "both the parties to the incident, the Nihang group and the deceased person, have no relation with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha". The peaceful and democratic movement of the farmers is opposed to violence in any form, it added.

The SKM said it is against the desecration of any religious text or symbol, but that does not give anyone the right to take the law into their own hands.

"As always, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha will cooperate with the police and the administration in any lawful action," it added.

Senior farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar told PTI that the group of Nihangs, which allegedly killed the man, was not part of the SKM's protests and strict action should be taken against the culprits. He claimed that the victim was staying with the same group of Nihangs for some time.

Who said what on the incident

The incident has elicited strong outrage. BJP leader Amit Malviya, for instance, has blamed Rakesh Tikait and Yogendra Yadav for the "gory murder" incident.

Taking to Twitter, BJP's in-charge of national information and technology department, wrote:

Past Precedence

Last year, a group of Nihangs allegedly chopped off the hand of a police officer in Patiala after he sought that they produce movement passes for travelling during the COVID-19 lockdown.

With inputs from agencies

Also See: BJP slams farmer leaders over lynching of man at Singhu border; SKM claims conspiracy

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