A MOB led by the son of a Panchkula councillor fired its way into a house in a village near here, brutally assaulted a 26-year-old man, bundled him into a car and left his mutilated body on the road not far from his home on Monday. The mob of about 10 men arrived in three cars, and fired three shots as they stormed into the house at Saketri village around 8.30 pm. Eyewitnesses told Chandigarh Newsline that they saw the mob beating the victim, Virender Singh alias Kalu, with swords, baseball bats, and iron rods. They pushed him into one of the cars. Some distance away, he was seen falling out of the car, and immediately run over by a second car in which another group of the assailants were following close behind. He was dragged a few hundred metres by the vehicle. One of his arms and a leg were crushed, the witnesses said.
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The agitated relatives of the victim and local residents of Saketri village blocked a main road in Panchkula between Mansa Devi and Manimajra for more than six hours on Tuesday, demanding that the local police arrest the two main accused, Manmeet Singh of Bhainsa Tibba village of Panchkula, and Harman Singh, of Santo Manjra village in Mohali. Panchkula MLA Gyan Chand Gupta joined the angry protest, and also spoke to DGP of Haryana. Later in the day, Manmeet Singh alias Monty, the son of INLD councillor Kuljit Kaur Waraich, who is alleged to have led the mob, and his cousin Harman were both arrested at Samrala near Ludhiana on Tuesday.
Virender Singh lived with his mother Devinder Kaur, who has been separated from her husband for the last 25 years. According to his relatives, Manmeet had a grudge against Virender’s cousin Avtar Singh, and had come looking for him, but he was not in the house at the time of the incident. Devinder Kaur, Virender’s grieving mother, said when the shots rang out, her son stepped out to check what was going on and was brutally set upon by the mob.
“My son had just finished his dinner when he heard the gunshots and abuses being hurled outside the house. He and his cousin Kulwinder Singh went outside to see what was happening. They grappled with the mob. I tried to intervene but one of them hit me and abducted my son in one of the cars. Kulwinder also ran behind them but failed to catch them,” she said.
Kulwinder said some of the assailants were masked and they had covered the number plates of the three vehicles — two Swifts and one i20.
“They beat him badly and bundled him into one of the cars. I tried to run after the car with other villagers. We saw him being thrown out of the moving car and another of their cars, which was immediately behind, ran over him and he was dragged under it,” said Kulwinder.
Later, the mutilated body of Virender was recovered at a distance of more than 500 metres from the house in the middle of the road leading from Saketri to Sukhna Lake. He was rushed to PGI in a private vehicle and doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Avtar Singh said Manmeet’s grudge against him dated back to a fight the two had during a cricket match some months ago. “The matter reached the local police station but we arrived at a compromise. Monty tried to settle his score and attacked my house last night. He involved his cousin Harman and his associates from Mohali.”
A case under the charges of abduction, murder and various sections of the Arms Act was registered at the Mansa Devi police station.
Panchkula DCP Anil Dhawan said six teams were looking for the other assailants. He said efforts were being made to recover the weapons used in the crime.
Inderjit Singh Waraich, Manmeet’s maternal grandfather, claimed it was not a case of murder but of death in a road accident, which occurred when people were chasing his grandson’s car with the intention of harming him. Manmeet’s mother, the INLD councillor, was not available for comment.
Virender, a graduate from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College (SGGSC), Sector 26, had played Holi with his friends at the village on Monday. After completing his graduation from SGGSC, Sector 26, Virender worked as a supervisor in a firm, which has a contract to install high security number plates at the local bus stand in Sector 5, Panchkula.
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