It was a Holi that turned into a nightmare for residents of Saketri village, Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, after a group of 10-12 men stormed into a house, dragged a 26-year-old out and murdered him in the street on Monday about 8pm.
The deceased Varinder Singh had no enmity with any of the accused. He happened to be with his cousin, Avtar Singh, who was the intended target of the mob.
Villagers and eyewitness claim that Manmeet Singh Waraich, son of councillor Kuljeet Waraich of ward number 8, in the Panchkula House, led the group that carried out the gruesome murder. Manmeet’s cousin Harmanpreet is also alleged to have been leading the mob.
Arrests made from Samrala
On Tuesday, the police said that two main accused — Manmeet alias Monty, resident of Bhainsa Tibba, Panchkula, and Harmanpreet Singh, resident of Santé Majra, Mohali — were arrested from Samrala town in Punjab. They have been booked for murder.
Cricket match a year ago sparked enmity
Even as the brutality of the murder has sent shock waves in the vicinity, no immediate cause of the violent action has come to light.
“A year ago, Manmeet and his friend Harman thrashed me with bats after we won a cricket match in Bhainsa Tibba, Sector 4. I had lodged a police complaint and a case was registered at the Mansa Devi Complex police station,” said Avtar, 25, the intended target of the assaulters.
Threatening call was received
“Manmeet called me at 6.49pm on Monday, wherein he threatened to kill my family,” Avtar said, adding that he did not inform the police, thinking that the issue could be tackled peacefully.
“About 8.15pm, 10-12 men in three cars, armed with sharp-edged weapons, stopped outside my house. They fired twice in the air and barged in, crossing two gates. My brother Varinder, who rushed outside became their target,” Avtar said.
‘Face, head badly smashed’
“Four men attacked Varinder with swords and sharp-edged weapons. They pulled him into the street, bundled him in a car and took him away,” said a woman witness.
Nirmal Singh (60), maternal uncle of Varinder, said, “They locked up his legs by rolling up the rear window panes of the car and dragged him for about a km. My nephew’s face and head was so badly smashed that we could not even recognise him. They left him to die on the road.” Varinder, the only son of his parents, was rushed to the PGI where he was declared brought dead.
An accident, says councillor
“We do not have any enmity with anyone. It was an accident. He (the victim) fell before the car. As far as enmity with Avtar is concerned, the court has settled the issue,” said councillor Kuljeet, the mother of the main accused.
Villagers block highway in MDC for five hours
Accusing the police of soft-pedalling, hundreds of Saketri residents blocked the railway underbridge at the Mansa Devi Complex for more than five hours on Tuesday.
The protest was lifted about 1.15pm after DCP Anil Dhawan assured the villagers that the main accused had been arrested and promised swift action.
Later, DCP Dhawan issued a statement that read, “A murder case has been registered and the two main accused have been arrested. A team from CIA-1, Panchkula, is carrying out raids to arrest the other accused.”