Updated: October 16, 2021 11:30:04 am
Lakhbir Singh, the 35-year-old man who was killed at Delhi’s Singhu border Friday allegedly by a group of Nihang Sikhs, was a daily wage labourer in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district and never involved with the farm protests, according to a family member and the sarpanch of his village.
They said Lakhbir was separated from his wife and children for the past five years and stayed with his sister in Cheema Kalan village. He was last seen in the village on Tuesday.
“Around five years ago, we had started Lakhbir’s treatment for drug addiction at the Government hospital in Tarn Taran. His family was very disturbed due to this. We fear that he might have been lured into committing some misguided act (at Singhu),” Avan Kumar, the village sarpanch, said.
“There should be an investigation into whether someone took him to the Singhu border and put him in a situation where he got murdered,” Lakhbir’s brother-in-law, Sukhchain Singh, said.
Local residents said Lakhbir and his sister Raj Kaur, whose husband died a few years ago, were the adopted children of ex-serviceman Darshan Singh and his wife, who were “respected in the village”.
“The foster parents died several years ago. Lakhbir got married 15 years ago. He had three daughters and one physically disabled son, who died two years ago. His wife has been staying with her brother for the past five years due to a matrimonial dispute,” Kumar, the sarpanch, said.
Brother-in-law Sukhchain Singh said: “His drug addiction was the reason for the dispute. He had not seen his three daughters for the past two years. He lived a low-profile life. He wasn’t in touch with many people.”
But the big question now, say Lakhbir’s family and local residents, is how did he manage to reach Singhu. Taran Taran DySP Sucha Singh said Lakhbir “was the only person from the village to go to the Singhu border” at this time.
“We know that he had no money. On Tuesday, he had demanded Rs 50 from his sister, who borrowed the amount from neighbours. We also know that Lakhbir went to the local grain market for work. Nobody saw him after that. Today morning, we saw his brutally mutilated body on TV,” Kumar, the sarpanch said.
“He’s never been to the Delhi border since the start of the farmers’ agitation. I had taken two jathas (protest marches) to Singhu. But he never accompanied us. People in the village used to avoid him,” Kumar said.
Referring to TV footage of Friday’s incident, Lakhbir’s brother-in-law said: “He (Lakhbir) never wore the religious attire of Nihangs. How did he get those clothes that were seen on his body?”
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