New Delhi: Days after a man from Punjab’s Tarn Taran district was assaulted and killed allegedly by Nihang Sikhs for ‘desecrating’ the Sarbloh Granth, their sacred book, another man was allegedly attacked at the farmers’ protest site in Singhu Thursday.
One Nihang was detained by Haryana Police hours later. The man was arrested Friday.
Two videos of the victim, identified as Manoj Paswan, a poultry farm worker, surfaced on social media where he details the attack.
Paswan, a native of Darbhanga, Bihar, claimed that he was transporting hens from a poultry farm in his rickshaw when a man demanded a hen from him for free and beat him up when he refused.
“There was one Sardar ji, he asked for a hen from me. He was a Nihang baba. I told him that I can’t give it to him because there is a count of them and I will be accused of theft. When I took the receipt out, he saw a beedi in my pocket, he saw it and accused me of smoking it at the protest site. I told him that I didn’t smoke it there at the protest site and did it elsewhere. He got angry and started thrashing me,” Paswan can be heard saying in the video as he goes on to show a receipt of the same.
In another video, Paswan, who is seen lying on a stretcher in a hospital, claims, “I was in the rickshaw. When I refused to give the hen to Baba ji explaining that there is a count of it, and I am answerable for it, he started hitting me with a stick. I even showed him the receipt of the poultry. When one man came to save me, Sardar ji beat him as well.
“The man was dressed in blue. My brother and employer came by and tried to save me. He kept hitting me. I am a labourer, I don’t get a fixed salary, I am a rickshaw puller surviving on daily wages,” the man says. His bruised legs can be seen in the videos.
‘Accused hit the man with a stick’
Haryana Police has arrested a Nihang — Naveen Kumar — a native of Karnal, Haryana, for assaulting Paswan. An FIR has been lodged under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
“Manoj Paswan was passing by when a member of the Nihang community stopped him and demanded chicken for free. When Paswan asked for money, the accused hit him with a stick and broke his leg,” Virender Singh, DSP, law and order, told ThePrint.
A senior police officer who didn’t wish to be named said that Naveen is from the Jat community and joined the Nihangs at the protest site on the Singhu border.
On 15 October, the body of a Dalit Sikh, Lakhbir Singh, was found hanging from a police barricade. His hand and leg were chopped off, allegedly by a group of Nihang Sikhs, who claimed that he committed sacrilege.
Four Nihang Sikhs have been arrested in the case and an SIT probe has been initiated after Lakhbir Singh’s sister Raj Kaur alleged that the 35-year-old had been lured to Singhu.
(Edited by Neha Mahajan)