Updated: February 6, 2021 10:40:26 am
The mother and brother of a farmer from Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh, who died in an accident in Delhi, have been booked on the charge of disrespecting the national flag after the tricolour was allegedly put on his body at the funeral procession on February 3.
Balvinder Singh (32) died on January 24 near Ghazipur where he was participating in the farmers’ agitation. He had left home the previous day.
Pilibhit SP Jai Prakash said the FIR was lodged at Sehramau North police station on Wednesday following a complaint by the police station in-charge. “Two people have been named in the FIR, and there are unidentified people accused as well. Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 has been invoked against the accused,” said Prakash.
Singh’s mother Jasveer Kaur (51) and brother Gurvinder Singh (22) have been booked under the Act.
Sehramau North SHO Ashutosh Raghuvanshi said Singh died late on January 24 after he was hit by a truck around 2 km from the protest site. “His body could only be identified on February 2 by Delhi Police through mobile phone tracing,” said the SHO.
“The family members were handed over the body on the night of February 2 and it was brought to Pilibhit the next day,” said the SHO. “The body was kept at the house and was about to be taken for cremation. There was a huge crowd there, and hence, police personnel deployed there maintained distance. Someone kept the national flag on the body, which is not permitted. The body was taken to the crematorium with the flag on it. When we got to know about this, we lodged a case on February 3,” the SHO said on Friday.
Asked if Singh’s brother or mother put the flag on the body, the SHO said, “Either the family put it there or they should tell us who did. We have booked unidentified persons in the FIR for this reason. It will be part of the probe.”
Speaking to The Indian Express Friday afternoon, village head for Haripur gram panchayat, Hurvinder Singh, said someone had placed the flag on the body, but it was immediately removed. “There were lots of people, about a thousand, during the funeral procession, and someone did put the flag near the body, but it was removed immediately,” he said.
“The family is very poor and owns very little land. They are already suffering after the death of their son. What is happening to the family is very unfair because the family members did not even put the flag on the body,” added the village head.
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