The Ludhiana rural police Sunday booked eight people, including a village sarpanch associated with the Congress party, for allegedly beating to death a 21-year-old youth at village Roomi of Jagraon in Ludhiana district Saturday late.
The family members of Manminder Singh, however, blocked the Jagraon-Raikot road Sunday and refused to cremate the body all the accused are arrested. While family, who belonged to Ravidassiya community (SC) alleged that Manminder was allegedly murdered after he objected to caste-related remarks hurled by the accused, all from upper caste Jatt Sikh – over some old spat, police claimed that it all started with a property dispute within the victim’s family in which panchayat intervened and a clash ensued.
Police said that Manminder was allegedly attacked with sharp edged weapons, including axes. The accused first attacked the doors and windows of his house with axes and when Manminder came out, he was allegedly picked up and assaulted a little distance away. He died of head injury.
ASI Amarjit Singh, in-charge Chwokimaan police check post, said that an FIR for murder has been registered at Jagraon Sadar police station on complaint of Jagwinder Singh, father of the deceased.
Sarpanch Kuldeep Singh, panch Gurmeet Singh, three others – Yadwinder Singh, Gurjeet Singh and Janti – and three unidentified persons have been booked under sections 302 (murder), 307 (Attempt to murder), 452 (house trespass), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120 (Conspiracy) of IPC.
ASI added that they are verifying the family’s claims.
Sukhdeep Singh, a cousin of victim, said that on Saturday evening, a clash ensued between two groups over some old issue and the group led by the sarpanch and his accomplices hurdled caste-related remarks at their family. “Manminder objected and said that they should take specific names and abuse instead of targeting everyone. The accused then opened attack on Manminder, killing him. The sarpanch, panch and others are related to Congress party and police did not even register the FIR last night. It was registered only after we protested with body on road Sunday morning.”
Ludhiana rural SSP Varinder Singh Brar, however, said that he problem started over a property dispute within family in which sarpanch and panchayat intervened later on and a clash ensued. “We are also probing family’s allegations of caste-related remarks,” he said. SSP added that three of five accused including sarpanch Kuldeep Singh and panch Gurmeet Singh have been arrested and rest too will be arrested soon.
However, family and other villagers were sitting on protest with body till filing of this report and said that cremation will be done only after all the accused are arrested.