Singhu border killing conspiracy to derail farmers’ protest: SKM

Jalandhar, October 16 (KMS): The Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s (SKM) leaders have termed the gruesome killing of a man at the Singhu border a “religious issue” and said it was a conspiracy by agencies to defame and derail the 10-month-long farmers’ protest against the agricultural laws.

The incident took place at around 5 am, after which some videos in which the victim was seen tied to a barricade with his left hand chopped off and leg broken, went viral. In related footage, a group of Nihangs – members of a Sikh warrior group – were seen questioning the helpless man lying in a pool of blood, while he was trying to respond.

One of the accused Nihang men, Sarabjit Singh Bhau is learned to have surrendered. Haryana police has taken him into custody.

The victim has been identified as Lakhbir Singh (35), son of Darshan Singh of the village Cheema Kalan in Tarn Taran district. The village is under the jurisdiction of the Sarai Amanat Khan police station.

A case under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC was registered against unknown persons by the Sonepat Police.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sonepat Satish Gautam said that investigations had begun on the case. The post mortem of the victim’s body is being carried out at the Civil Hospital, Sonepat.

Expressing shock over the crime, farmers’ union leaders said that both the parties in this incident – the Nihang group and the deceased person have no relation with the SKM. The SKM leaders said that their protest was against the three farm laws but this horrific incident was related to sacrilege and the violation of a sacred scripture.

Senior SKM leader and president of BKU (Sidhupur) Jagjeet Singh Dallewal, who led a meeting of farmers’ union leaders in the day and later held a press conference, said, “We strongly condemn the barbaric killing of the man and the sacrilege incident. But we demand a thorough probe from the government in this case to ascertain that why and how it happened. Strict action should be taken against the accused who are behind this conspiracy and murder, as many such cases have taken place at the farmers’ protest earlier too,” he said.

“A barbaric incident and sacrilege happening in farmers’ protest somehow hints at a conspiracy. That is why we have demanded a probe from the government,” he said.

He said that soon after they learnt about the incident, a group of farmer union leaders met the Nihangs in the morning.

“The Nihangs told us that the victim took their Sarbaloh Granth to a dirty place. Some Nihangs followed him. When the Nihangs reached, they found the Granth at an indecent place, leading to the incident. In fact, it could be an internal matter of the deceased and the Nihangs too, as Lakhbir used to stay with them and even dress up like a Nihang. We have also asked our volunteers to check all the CCTV footage to track the crime,” Dallewal added.

The Sarbaloh Granth translates to “scripture of wrought iron” and contains the writings of Guru Gobind Singh. It is separate from the Sikh holy book, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

On being asked about Nihangs sitting at Singhu border and whether SKM was keen to not take responsibility, Dallewal said that this is a global farmers’ protest and thus various people were participants in it.

“We have different groups and people from different ideologies and communities at the protest. There are farmers’ unions, Sikh groups, different langars, Hindus and Muslims, who have been taking part in the protest. Muslims even observed Roza at Singhu border, so this crime can’t be attributed to all farmers,” he emphasized.

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