Three days after the brutal murder of the Dalit man Sukhchain Pali, his family today performed last rites and cremated the body in Ghrangna village of Mansa district. The cremation was done amidst tight police security. Police have arrested all six accused in the case. Sub Inspector Chanan Singh, Station House Officer of the police station – Kot Dharmu was transferred out to police lines this evening.
The Shiromani Akali Dal MLA from Ferozepur (rural) Joginder Singh Jindu, also a Dalit, visited the cremation ground in an attempt to show his solidarity with the family. However, the members of CPI (ML) and Mazdoor Mukti Morcha, who had been supporting the deceased’s family since Pali was murdered, refused Jindu entrance and raised anti-SAD slogans. Jindu was not allowed to meet Pali’s family and had to leave the venue.
Before the cremation, a team of doctors headed by Dr. Rasdeep Singh conducted post mortem examination of the body. “Excessive hemorrhage and shock” were cited as main causes of Pali’s death. “The man’s left leg was chopped off that caused excessive bleeding. There were other injuries on the right leg and an attempt was made to chop it off as well. Both arms had multiple fractures, more than eight on each arm. There was also a grievous head injury inflicted possibly with a sharp-edged weapon”, Dr. Rasdeep Singh told Indian Express.
Gursewak Singh, a close associate of Pali, has now threatened to avenge Pali’s murder. Gursewak admitted that he and Pali were involved in illegal liquor business and that they used to live together.
As protests erupted after Pali’s death, the district administration announced Rs 10 lakh financial assistance to victim’s family. “A cheque worth Rs 5.62 lakh was given to the family after post mortem examination, while Rs. 2.5 lakh shall be given at the time of bhog ceremony and the remaining amount shall be handed over to the family once the court convicts all the accused”, said Mukhwinder Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, Mansa.
SSP Mukhwinder Singh added, “I had a word with the Director General of Police who has assured me that we will provide a government job to victim’s younger brother Sukhbir Singh.”
Most village residents, including village sarpanch Sardool Singh, did not attend Pali’s cremation. “It [murder] was a result of an ongoing rivalry between two groups who were into liquor smuggling. I was busy somewhere, thus could not attend the cremation.”
Pali’s parents Karamjeet Kaur and Resham Singh demanded that the police take action against the liqour contractors for whom their son was worked. “My son worked with two different contractors and these contractors are the real culprits who sell cheap liquor to youngsters, which is subsequently sold at a higher price. I had asked my son to stop working in this and he had also scaled down. But yet he paid a heavy price for it”, Karamjeet told Indian Express.