AGITATED OVER the death of 50-year-old Dharam Singh, a resident of Madi Wala Town in Manimajra and accusing Chandigarh Police of conducting a biased investigation, family members of the victim, along with more than hundred others, staged a protest, blocking traffic and pelting stones at police, damaging a PCR Gypsy at Manimajra on Saturday.
Dharam Singh, along with his uncle Satnam (45), were thrashed by more than half-a-dozen youths, including five identified, near his house on August 14. The two were taken to Civil Hospital, Manimajra, and discharged later. On Friday, Dharam’s condition deteriorated and he was declared brought dead at GMCH-32. He is survived by his wife and three children.
The situation took a violent turn when Dharam’s family members demanded the addition of murder charges against the assailants. But the Chandigarh Police turned down their demand, saying Dharam might have died of excessive consumption of alcohol. The protesters blocked the traffic on Manimajra road starting from the railway crossing to Shivalik Garden, which is barely 100 metres from Manimajra police station. Later, murder charges were added in the FIR.
“All the assailants were drug addicts and two of them, Gurpreet Singh, alias Madu, and Chattu, who are residing in our locality, used to sell drugs in the residential area. Dharam Singh and I raised objections against them and also complained to the police but all in vain. On August 14, Gurpreet, along with others, attacked us on the street. They were armed with sharp weapons. We were rescued by the neighbours,” said Satnam, Dharam’s uncle and auto driver.
“When we rushed to the local police station after the death of Dharam Singh to lodge a case against the assailants, SHO Harminderjeet Singh refused to listen to our plight,” he added. Police sources said though Satnam received sharp injuries in the rear, Dharam was injured in the head. The two were rushed to Civil Hospital, Manimajra, and discharged after preliminary treatment.
Inspector Harminderjeet Singh, SHO of Manimajra PS, said, “We have registered a case and arrested three of the assailants. The main accused, Gurpreet Singh, alias Madu, along with another person, is still absconding. We have added murder charges in the FIR. The post-mortem will be conducted on Sunday.”
The three arrested assailants are Harjeet, alias Sonu, Gurjeet and Preet. Those absconding are Gurpreet and Chattu. Earlier, a case under charges of rioting, assault and criminal intimidation was registered at Manimajra PS. On Saturday, murder charges under Section 302 IPC were added in the FIR.