A man was lynched, his hand chopped off and the body bearing over 10 wounds caused by sharp-edged weapons tied to a barricade at a farmers' protest site at Kundli near the Delhi-Haryana border, a gruesome incident being blamed on a group of Nihangs.
In a video clip on social media, some Nihangs are seen standing around the injured man with his severed left hand close to his head. The group is heard accusing him of desecrating a Sikh holy book.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions, said a group of Nihangs has claimed responsibility for the brutal killing after the man allegedly tried to desecrate the Sarbloh Granth.
Farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar told PTI that the group was not part of the SKM's protests and urged strict action against the culprits. He claimed that the man was staying with the same Nihang group for some time.
The victim, Lakhbir Singh, a labourer from Cheema Khurd village in Punjab's Tarn Taran and aged around 35 years, police said.
His body was found tied to an overturned police barricade near a dais put up by the farmers protesting there for several months over the Centre agri-marketing laws. A Haryana police spokesperson said in Chandigarh that when Sonipat police reached the spot the man had died.
Singh was found wearing only a pair of shorts. His hand was cut off at the wrist and a foot bore deep injuries. Altogether, there were over 10 injury marks inflicted by sharp-edged weapons. He was allegedly dragged by his assailants for a few metres before he was tied with ropes to the barricade. He is said to have bled to death.
"We have registered a case and further investigations are on," Additional Director General of Police, Rohtak Range, Sandeep Khirwar told PTI over the phone.
“We have the names of some suspects and the investigations are on. I am hopeful that we should be able to make headway very soon, as we have some leads in the case,” he said.
In a statement, the SKM said it wanted to make it clear that “both the parties to the incident, the Nihang group and the deceased person, have no relation with the Morcha.”
The peaceful and democratic movement of the farmers is opposed to violence in any form, it added. The SKM said it is against the desecration of any religious text or symbol, but that does not give anyone the right to take the law into their own hands.
"A Nihang group at the scene has claimed responsibility, saying the incident took place because of the deceased's attempt to commit sacrilege with regard to the Sarbloh Granth," the farmers' body said.
It demanded that the culprits be punished in accordance with law after investigating the allegation of murder and conspiracy behind sacrilege.
"As always, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha will cooperate with the police and the administration in any lawful action," it added.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three border points of Delhi -- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur -- for months, demanding a repeal of the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September last year.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)