Reacting strongly to the murder of a Dalit labourer at a farmers’ protest site near the Singhu border by Nihang Sikhs, Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes said on Saturday that farmer leaders “had washed their hands off the entire incident, but it is not correct.”
“If they (the accused) are sitting with them in protest for ten months and staying with them, then they are part of that protest only,” news agency ANI quoted Vijay Sampla as saying.
Thirty-five year-old Lakhbir Singh man was lynched, his hand chopped off and his body, bearing over 10 wounds caused by sharp-edged weapons, tied to a barricade at a farmers’ protest site at Kundli on Friday. In a video clip that was shared on social media, some Nihangs were seen standing around the injured man with his severed left hand close to his head. The group was heard accusing him of desecrating a Sikh holy book.
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait, who has been among the leaders of the farmers’ protest for the last 10 months, had said on Friday that the “the law would take its own course” in the incident, according to reports. He said whatever had taken place would come out in the police investigation, and whomever had done it would go to jail, adding that it was the government’s responsibility to ensure that law takes its course.
CNN-News18 had earlier reported that an accused Nihang, Sarabjit Singh was been detained late Friday after he surrendered to the Haryana police, and took full responsibility of the incident, according to sources. Sarabjit Singh’s father Kashmir Singh has also been been arrested from Sonipat by Haryana Police.
Around 15 Dalit outfits submitted a memorandum to the National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC) on Saturday demanding stringent action against the culprits. The Akhil Bharatiya Khatik Samaj, Akhil Bharatiya Berwa Vikas Sangh, Dhanak Welfare Association and other organizations of Dalit employees and professionals submitted the memorandum to Sampla. They urged the panel to ensure that this gory incident be fairly investigated and stringent punishment for culprits be ensured.
Political parties across the board have condemned this incident and demanded a thorough probe. BJP leaders have claimed that this incident exposes the “anarchists” projecting themselves as farmers’ leaders. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes on Friday asked the Haryana Police to take strict action against those behind the killing of the Dalit man at the farmers’ protest venue.
Sampla also sought a preliminary report from the Haryana Police within 24 hours. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmer unions is spearheading the protests at Delhi’s borders, said a group of Nihangs has claimed responsibility for the brutal killing after the victim allegedly attempted to desecrate the Sarbloh Granth, a holy book of the Sikhs.
With inputs from PTI.