The body of an unidentified man with one of his hands chopped off was found near the farmers' protest site at Kundli in Haryana's Sonipat district on Friday, October 15, police said. The deceased was aged around 35 years and the body was found tied to a metal barricade near the protest site, close to the Singhu border, they added. "The Kundli police station received information at 5 am that a body was found near the farmers' protest site," a Sonipat police official said. He said the deceased was found wearing only a pair of shorts.
An image that has been doing the rounds on social media shows the body having several marks and spots, an indication of being beaten up or lynched by a mob before being murdered. The semi-naked body had only a single piece of cloth tied around the waist -- a dirty, blood-soaked white dhoti. The manner in which the body was spotted made it seem as if it was put on display near the main stage of protesting farmers on purpose. It is being alleged that the man was caught while desecrating the Sikh religious holy book, however, there is no official confirmation about this.
"We have registered a case and further investigations are on to find out the culprits," Inspector General of Police, Rohtak Range, Sandeep Khirwar told PTI over the phone. He said police have interrogated people near the protest site regarding the incident. A case of murder has been registered against unidentified persons, the officer said. Asked about a video clip circulating on social media, in which some people accused the deceased of ‘committing sacrilege’, he said the matter is being investigated.
Police said they tried speaking to the protesters present on the site but none told them anything. "It is still unclear as to who was responsible for this act of crime," said an official.
The body has been sent to the Sonipat civil hospital for post-mortem.
Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has blamed Nihangs or armed Sikh warriors of committing the murder. They alleged that Nihangs have been causing problems in and around the protest sites since day one. The umbrella group of protesting farmers has disassociated itself from the incident.
A video of the incident has also surfaced where a group of Nihangs could be seen standing over the man -- after his wrist had been severed and he was lying on the ground, bleeding. At one point the chopped-off hand could be seen lying beside the man. No one from the crowd could be seen helping or even trying to help the victim.
In another video, the man's body has been strung upside down with a rope with his left hand and the surface beneath is covered in blood.
According to the FIR, when a team of policemen reached the spot they found a man, whose one hand was chopped, tied to an overturned barricade. Several Nihang Sikh men were standing near the dead body. When the police tried to speak to them, none of the protesters cooperated.
"The Nihangs did not even let us take down the dead body of the man from the barricade," the FIR read.
Heavy deployment of police from both Haryana and Delhi sides could be seen at the border.
(With IANS and PTI inputs)