A total of four people from the Nihang community of Sikhs were taken into police custody after the mutilated body of one Lakhbir Singh was found on the barricades of the farmers' protest site near the Singhu border in Haryana on 15 October.
Three of the accused – Sardar Narayan Singh, Bhagwant Singh, and Govind Preet Singh – were presented in a Sonipat court on Sunday, 17 October by the Sonipat Crime Branch and the police.
Civil Judge (Junior Division) Kimmy Singla remanded them to six days police custody, noting that the accused will have daily health check-ups and daily diary (DD) entries while in police custody.
The police had initially put forth a request for 14 days custody in front of the judge.
As per reports, the individuals presented in court admitted to killing Lakbhir Singh.
Narayan Singh reportedly told the court that while he cut off Lakhbir Singh's legs, Bhagwant and Govind Preet Singh hung the body.
"If someone insults our religion, we will do this in the future too. If Christians and Muslims can do this for their holy books, why can't we?", questioned one of the accused in court.
""The police had asked for a 14-day remand, along with recovery of weapons and recovery of clothes. They also wanted them to identify the place of occurrence, which was already noted in the police's file. All accused have surrendered to the police, not arrested by anyone."" - Sandeep Sharma, the defendants' lawyer speaking to reporters
"Since they surrendered, their remand has been set to 6 days so that they will released along with Sarvajeet," he added, noting that the accused had said that the police had treated them fairly and that they would be allowed to speak to their lawyer for an hour everyday.
What Had Happened?
In the early hours of Friday, October 15, the mutilated body of a 36-year-old man was found mutilated at the site of the farmers' protest on Singhu border. The deceased, who was later identified as Dalit labourer Lakhbir Singh, was reportedly found tied to the police barricades with his legs chopped off and one of his wrists severed.
Singh hailed from Tarn Taran district in Punjab's Jalandhar and had no criminal record or political affiliations.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body leading the nationwide farmers' protests against the Union government, condemned the killing in a statement, adding that the Nihang group had claimed responsibility.
The statement said that the "incident took place because of the deceased's attempt to commit sacrilege with regard to the Sarbaloh Granth".
Govt Shouldn't Link This to Farmers Protest: Rakesh Tikait
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait pointed out that the Nihangs have said it is a religious matter. Tikait also asked the government to, therefore, not link the same to farmers' protest.
Tikait further, according to ANI, said that they have told the Nihangs that "they're not needed here as of now."
"Government can deteriorate the situation. The conspiracy was executed by governments," Tikait alleged.
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