The Tarn Taran police on Monday booked a farmer and his son for the murder of a 50-year-old farm labourer at Pakhoke village. Victim Harjit Singh was allegedly thrashed to death by the father-son duo after he got late to reach for work on Sunday evening.
The case was registered after hundreds of labourers on Monday blocked the road outside the Tarn Taran civil hospital, where the victim’s body had been kept for the post-mortem examination. Led by Communist Party of India-Marxist (Pasla) leader Baldev Singh Pandori, the protesters refused to lift the blockade till the authorities provided them with the autopsy report and registered a case against the accused.
The agitators said Harjit had been working as a labourer on Balkar Singh’s fields for months. On Sunday, he got late to return to work in the evening, which allegedly angered his employer, who along with his son Sukhchain Singh thrashed him mercilessly.
After Harjit died of his injuries, the two allegedly tried to cover up the incident by informing the victim’s family that he had fallen unconscious after being electrocuted. Later, they dumped his body outside his house, alleged the victim’s son, Shamsher Singh.
On seeing injuries on his body, the family called the local police, but got no response. On calling the helpline number 181, some cops reached the house to take the body for autopsy and record statements of family members. Police, however, took no action against the alleged killers.
Even during the protest, deputy superintendent of police (city) Harpal Singh tried to pacify the agitators by assuring action against the culprits, but they did not call off the stir.
Pandori alleged the police were sheltering the accused as the two are close to Shiromani Akali Dal leader Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke.
Finally, the father-son duo was booked under Section 302/34 (murder by more than one persons) of the Indian Penal Code. It was only after the protesters were given a copy of the FIR that they lifted the dharna.