Updated: October 16, 2021 5:24:04 am
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the farmers’ protests, sought to distance itself from the brutal lynching of a man at Singhu border, allegedly by Nihang Sikhs, and said the outfit would cooperate with police.
In a statement, the SKM said: “A Nihang group at the scene has claimed responsibility, saying that the incident took place because of the deceased’s attempt to commit sacrilege with regard to the Sarbaloh Granth… SKM condemns this gruesome killing and wants to make it clear that both the parties — the Nihang group and the deceased — have no relation with SKM. The Morcha is against sacrilege of any religious text or symbol, but that does not give anyone the right to take the law into their own hands. We demand that the culprits be punished according to law after investigating the allegation of murder and conspiracy behind sacrilege. SKM will cooperate with the police and administration.”
Though SKM members claimed that Nihang Sikhs are not part of their protest, members of the group have often been seen near the main stage and at food pandals in Singhu.
Sukdarshan Natt, an SKM member and a farmer union leader from Punjab, said: “The state’s farm unions are meeting over this incident… Police should take strictest possible action against the culprits and SKM will fully cooperate. The Nihang Singhs had their tents away from Singhu’s main stage. This is not the first violent incident involving them, though earlier there was no loss of life. They are not associated with us, though they are sitting near the Singhu border.”
Balbir Singh Rajewal, another member and president of BKU Rajewal, said, “We strongly condemn the incident and have spoken with Sonipat police officials. The law should take its own course.”
Krishna Prasad, working committee member of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee and a member of the SKM, added, “Nihang Singhs are not part of the SKM, though they are near the Singhu border. Police should thoroughly investigate the matter and punish the culprits. It was a cold-blooded murder. However, cops also need to investigate why such incidents are happening near farmers’ protest sites — earlier Lakhimpur Kheri and now this… this conspiracy should be unearthed.”
Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary of BKU Dakaunda, said, “Police are free to take any action against them (the Nihang Sikhs). Earlier too we had indicated that they should leave the place, but they continue to stay near the morcha site. Ours is a farmers’ movement and not connected to any religion.”
Harmeet Singh Kadian, president of BKU Kadian, said, “We have differences in ideologies with Nihangs… In the past too, we have highlighted that the farmers’ movement shouldn’t be given any religious colour. They were not part of the SKM but it is giving a bad name to the movement.”
Buta Singh Burjgill, president of BKU Dakaunda, said, “Though we have always had differences in ideology with them, yes, they used to come to the pandal at times. It is a murder and needs to be investigated.”
Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, said, “Who was that man, why was he at the border — that too needs to be investigated.. But even if someone is at fault, no one has the right to take the law into their own hands.”
“Nihang Sikh groups should leave the place… they should no longer be allowed to stay around or near the morcha,” said Krishna Prasad from the All India Kisan Sabha.
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