A 55-year-old farm labourer was allegedly beaten to death by a young landlord over an attempt to steal vegetables from his farm on Tuesday.
Sukhdev Singh, the son of the deceased, said that his father, Joginder Singh, had gone to bring fodder for the cattle around 4pm on Tuesday. "After collecting some grass, my father apparently entered the fields nearby owned by Balbir Singh and plucked some vegetables. Balbir's 25-year-old son, Amrik Singh, saw him and started abusing him over our so-called lower caste. Then, he thrashed my father severely," he said.
The family was informed by the alleged murderer himself. "At 6 pm, Amrik came to our house. He started shouting derogatory words for our community and said, 'Your father is lying there in the fields; he was stealing vegetables. Go, bring him back home'."
"We rushed to the spot to find him (Sukhdev) lying unconscious. Within a few minutes, he breathed his last," said the victim's wife, wailing.
The matter was reported around 8 pm. Police have sent the body for post-mortem. "On the statements of the family, we have registered a case under section 302 (murder) of the IPC and under the SC/ST(Prevention of Atrocities) Act against Amrik Singh, who is at large along with his family," station house officer (SHO) Naresh Kumar said.