Six days after a Sikh priest from a gurdwara in village Rattan of Jagraon of Ludhiana went missing, his body was found buried in a ten-ft deep pit behind a cow shelter (gaushala) in Sanghera of Barnala Monday.
Police said that Baba Ajaib Singh (55), one of the senior sewadars at Gurudwara Tahli Sahib in village Rattan of Jagraon, had left in his Innova SUV on December 4.
Daya Singh (one of the three accused now arrested for murder) was allegedly driving the vehicle. He is alleged to have come from Barnala to escort him.
For the next three days, Ajaib Singh did not return to Jagraon and a missing complaint was filed by gurudwara management with the police.
On Monday, his body was recovered from a pit, at least ten feet deep, dug behind a cow shelter (gaushala) in Sanghera of Barnala. Police arrested three persons- Bhola Singh, his brother Balbir Singh alias Beera and Daya Singh.
Amandeep Singh, DSP (Investigation) Jagraon, said that there were some talks going on between Ajaib Singh and gaushala caretaker Bhola Singh for donation of funds for which they had called him to Barnala to discuss amount and Daya Singh had come to escort him.
“Things went wrong on night of December 4. The gaushala caretaker Bhola Singh had promised karsewa (funds) of Rs 4-5 lakh for gurdwara but later he backtracked. Also, they instead started demanding funds for gaushala from Ajaib Singh to which he probably refused. An argument turned into a clash and the trio held him hostage. They tied him to a chair and gave him pesticides filled injection. Later they shot him in head and dumped body in a pit which they dug outside the gaushala. The autopsy was done today and a bullet has been found in his head,” said DSP.
He added that as per interrogation till now, the trio injected pesticides in his veins. “Detailed reports will reveal exact composition of what they injected but they are claiming it was pesticide. Later they shot him in head,” he added.
Murder charges have been added to the kidnapping FIR registered at Jodhan police station and names of three accused nominated. All three have been arrested. Cremation was done after autopsy Monday.