A 70-year-old caretaker of a ‘Samadh’ (tomb), Mangal Singh, was burnt alive by unidentified thieves at Khara village here in the wee hours on Saturday.
For around 20 years, the victim, a resident of same village, had been taking care of ‘Samadh’ of Baba Raju Singh Shaheed, located on the bank of a canal. Mangal was sleeping alone at the ‘Samadh’ premises when thieves barged into it.
Apparently, Mangal tried to restrain them following which, the thieves eliminated him and fled with electronic equipments, said police sources.
Station house officer (SHO) of Sarhali Police Station inspector Gurwinder Singh told HT that the incident took place between 2 am and 3 am. The ‘Samadh’ being located at a distance outside the village, the villagers claimed that they heard no sound as the incident took place.
Around 6.30 am, a farmer, Joginder Singh, whose land is located near the tomb visited the place to get his bicycle when he saw smoke coming out of the room where Mangal used to sleep. When he opened the door, he found Mangal’s partially burnt dead body.
Joginder found ghee scattered on the floor, which reportedly was used as fuel to burn the victim.
Police sources said the miscreants burnt him in a bid to not leave witness behind.
Air conditioners, an inverter, battery, water filter among other things were robbed by the killers. The cash in the donation box was also missing.
After being informed, superintendent of police (SP) (detection) Jagmohan Singh, deputy superintendent of police (DSP) of Patti Davinder Singh Sandhu reached the spot with their team and began inspection of the spot.
The SHO said, “We have started investigation in the matter. Statements of villagers have been recorded to register a case against unidentified persons under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other relevant sections.”
The police have taken the dead body under its custody for post-mortem. Panic gripped the whole area after the incident.