Five men ended up serving life terms for a murder that never was. In 1996, Jagseer Singh, then 16, of Bhadaur village in Barnala district, was ‘murdered’. And five people were sentenced for life.
Jagseer, apparently faked his murder to teach his adversaries —Sheera Singh, Nachattar Singh, Surjit Singh, Amarjit Singh and Nika Singh — a lesson.
But 12 years later on Friday, the ‘dead’ man was found walking. His own siblings, following a property dispute, leaked his story to the police. Jagseer and five members of his family were arrested.
Of the five who had served life sentences, Sheera Singh committed suicide. The other four are now demanding compensation. “Who will compensate us for the mental agony our families went through all these years?” asked Amarjit Singh.
Presenting Jagseer before the media, district police chief Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said after he staged his murder, his family members arranged fake witnesses. Jagseer, alias Baldev, then settled in Balachaur.
Narrating his story, Jagseer said his family had a land dispute with another family in the village and wanted to settle score. “On June 11, 1996, our adversaries beat me up. My family asked me to go underground, so they could charge them with kidnapping. Later, they brought in the charge of murder.”
But a few days ago, he approached his family, demanding his share in the ancestral property and other assets, as he intended to marry a girl from Himachal. Turning him down, some members of the family said he couldn’t be given any share legally, as he was officially dead. But he insisted.
Jagseer was nabbed on Friday while he was returning to Balachaur after extracting Rs 1.24 lakh from his family.