A day after a labourer, his wife and two daughters killed themselves by jumping into a canal, the police on Friday arrested three men and two women on charges of abetment of suicide, but took no action yet against three leaders of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) named in the suicide note. Another accused man remained to be nabbed too.
Those arrested are the victims’ neighbours, Lal Singh and his family members Baljit Singh, Jaspal Kaur, Gurdev Kaur and Kala Mistri. Gurmeet Singh was reported absconding, after a case was registered on the complaint by Mandip Kaur alias Simarjeet Kaur, another daughter of the victim, Jagtar Singh. She stays with her husband and in-laws in Ferozepur district.
The three SAD leaders named in the suicide note are Harjit Singh Bhoolowalan, Balbir Singh and Jarnail Singh, none of whom has yet faced any police action. Senior superintendent of police (SSP) DS Maan said, “We are investigating the case thoroughly. The suicide note has been sent to forensic experts. We will take further action once they submit their report.”
Also, a probe team was formed under the SP Amarjit Singh and the police have also sought that the deputy commissioner holds a magisterial inquiry, it is learnt.
Tale of a petty tussle, caste, and drugs
Gurmukh Singh, a relative of the victim Jagtar Singh, said a minor tussle over a common wall with the house of Lal Singh (accused) had taken an ugly turn last month. As Lal wanted to raise the height of the wall, he asked Jagtar to remove a wire used for hanging clothes to dry. Jagtar said the wire was not causing any problem, but the issue turned into a fight and Lal and his sons attacked Jagtar, the relative claimed. Jagtar was injured and a case was registered against Lal and his sons. They were out on bail in that case.
Rajinder Singh, another relative, said that since Jagtar was the only one from a particular Scheduled Caste in a locality where all others belonged to another SC group, “he was isolated and no one supported him”. Relatives also said that Lal had support of Akali leaders and “used to harass Jagtar”.
Also, several relatives said Jagtar’s son suffers from drug addiction and remains away from home most of the time. “He was under stress because of that too. He took the extreme step along with his daughters as he knew that his son won’t be able take care of the family,” said Gurmukh, one of the relatives.