Haryana Police books Singhu lynching victim for desecrating holy book
The Haryana Police have registered an FIR against Lakhbir Singh at Kundli police station on October 17. Lakhbir was lynched and strung up to a barricade by Nihang Sikhs for alleged desecration of the Sikh holy book at the farmers' protest site at Singhu border. The FIR was lodged on a complaint filed by Balwinder Singh, jathedar, moian di mandi wale, Udna Dal.
Why does this story matter?
Lakhbir Singh was lynched at the Singhu border on October 15 by Nihang Sikhs for allegedly desecrating the Guru Granth Sahib. The lynching has turned into a political controversy. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is leading the protests, distanced itself from the incident. While some Nihang Sikhs claimed responsibility for the murder, the Opposition alleges the government orchestrated the incident to defame the agitation.
What is the case against Lakhbir?
Lakhbir has been booked under Indian Penal Code Section 295A and a probe is underway, according to Sonipat DSP (Law & Order) Virender Singh. Section 295A deals with deliberate and malicious acts and insulting religious sentiments of any class. Thus far, the police have arrested four Nihang Sikhs: Sarabjit Singh, Narain Singh, Bhagwant Singh, and Govind Preet Singh.
Victim's video clip opens new angle
A Special Investigating Team has been formed to investigate the matter. The team is trying to verify the details of a video clip showing the victim telling the mob that he was paid Rs. 30,000 and shared the phone number of a person. The Haryana Police is coordinating with the Punjab Police to verify the contents of the video.
Lakhbir's death new blot on farmers' stir
Lakhbir was tied to a police barricade with his wrist chopped off and injuries to his ankle and leg. The police had rushed him to a civil hospital where he was declared brought dead. Some Nihang Sikhs claimed responsibility for the murder. A photo of a Nihang "leader" with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has sparked rumors that the government orchestrated the incident.
Protests hit headlines for all wrong reasons
For nearly a year, farmers have relentlessly protested against the government's contentious agricultural laws, camping at Delhi's borders. On October 3, a convoy of Union Minister Ajay Mishra mowed down a farmers' rally in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri. The incident intensified protests across other regions with Opposition parties expressing solidarity. Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court observed that farmers cannot block highways indefinitely.