A sixteen-year-old boy was tied to a pillar at an abandoned rice sheller in Mansa and burnt alive, police said on Sunday.
Three people have been arrested for the boy’s murder. Both the victim and the accused belong to the Dalit community. The incident happened on Saturday, while the body was recovered on Sunday morning.
SHO, Mansa city police station, Sukhjeet Singh said, “As per our investigation, Jaspreet Singh was first tied to a pillar with a rope, and then petrol was poured over him before setting him on fire.” Jaspreet died on the spot. SSP Mansa Narinder Bhargav confirmed the arrest of all three accused — Jashan Singh, Gurjeet Singh and Raju Singh.
“Jaspreet’s elder brother, Kulwinder Singh, had eloped with Jashan’s sister, Rajo Kaur, about two and a half year ago and later got married. The couple stated living in Budhlada, about 30 km from the city and had not visited their parents’ houses even once after getting married. They also have a one-year-old son. As per information gathered from the family of Jashan, Jaspreet would off and on tease him (Jashan) and his family about this marriage and would say Kulwinder will return and start living with them soon,” revealed the SHO.
Sources said that the girl’s family was unhappy with the marriage and had not allowed the couple to return to the area after tying the knot. They added that intermittent teasing by Jaspreet could have led to Saturday’s incident.
Surat Singh, father of Jaspreet, said that on Friday night that Jashan, his cousin, Gurjeet, along with their friend, Raju, had come their house to take Jaspreet along somewhere. After he did not return, Jaspreet’s family went to nearby police station after which a search was launched that concluded with the body being found at the rice sheller. A postmortem was conducted Sunday evening after which the body was cremated.
Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission chief Tejinder Kaur said: “Commission deals with issues related to Dalits versus other castes, and not Dalits versus Dalits. No doubt this incident is brutal. It is a cold-blooded murder. The culprits must be punished as per law.”
President of a Dalit outfit, Zamin Prapati Sangrash Committee (ZPSC), Mukesh Malaud, said: “We only step in when crime or discrimination is related to lower castes versus upper castes. But it is a shameful act and the culprits must be punished.”
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