Dalit Man Lynched, Tortured at Farmers' Protest Site for Desecrating Holy Book, Accused Surrenders

© AP Photo / Altaf QadriA nihang or a Sikh warrior displays his Sikh martial art skills during a nationwide shutdown called by thousands of Indian farmers protesting new agriculture laws, at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020
A nihang or a Sikh warrior displays his Sikh martial art skills during a nationwide shutdown called by thousands of Indian farmers protesting new agriculture laws, at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.10.2021
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On Friday, the body of Lakhbir Singh, a Dalit farm labourer in his mid-thirties from the Indian state of Punjab, was found tied to a barricade at a farmers' protest site on the outskirts of Delhi. His hand had been chopped off and his body mutilated.
Indian Police on Saturday said they had arrested Sarvjit Singh, a Nihang Sikh, for the brutal murder of Dalit man Lakhbir Singh.
Sarvjit Singh was detained by the police on Friday night after he claimed to have tortured Lakhbir Singh for allegedly desecrating the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book.
"We are probing his [Sarvjit Singh] role in the murder, " a senior police official, Jashandeep Singh Randhawa, told reporters. "The claim of desecration of holy book at the Singhu border is yet to be verified. It is a matter of investigation."
Earlier on Friday, a video clip was doing the rounds on social media showing Lakhbir Singh with a severed hand. People can be heard accusing him of desecrating the holy book.
Nihang Sikhs usually wear a blue robe and turban with a sword hanging off their waist.
"His [victim's] hand was cut off at the wrist, and a foot bore serious injuries. Altogether, there were over ten injury marks inflicted by sharp-edged weapons. His assailants allegedly dragged him for a few metres before he was tied with ropes to the barricade. His body is sent for the postmortem," another police official – Sandeep Khiwar – told reporters on Friday.
Hours after the murder, Samyukht Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of the 43-farmers unions co-ordinating the ongoing protests on Delhi's border, urged strict action against the culprit.
"We will corporate with the police and district administration," SKM said in a statement.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting for eleven months all over the country in a bid to abolish three contentious farm laws passed by the BJP-led federal government last year.
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