In an example of police's sheer arbitrary conduct, a Rajpura man, accused of stealing cattle, was allegedly beaten to death by two Haibowal police station cops, along with the cattle owner and his aides in Rishi Nagar on late Friday night.
The deceased, Gulzar Singh Chaudhary, 60, was a resident of Ali Majra village of Rajpura.
The accused have been identified as head constable Parminder Singh, home guard Deepak Kumar, cattle owner Bhupinder Singh Soma and his accomplices Ashu, Gahley and Nepali, who is a domestic help at the house of a magistrate.
They have been booked under sections 365, 302, 363, 148, 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at PAU police station, following a complaint by Chaudhary's driver Gurwinder Singh and friend Bhupinder Singh.
While Kumar, Ashu, Gahley and Nepali have been arrested, Soma and head constable Parminder Singh are absconding.
Soma, who runs a property dealing office, Nanak Property Dealer, at Rishi Nagar also owns a dairy. He had approached the Haibowal police station accusing Chaudhary of stealing his cattle on February 15.
In his complaint, Chaudhary's driver Gurwinder alleged that following Soma's complaint, instead of lodging an FIR, head constable Parminder, along with home guard Deepak Kumar, picked up Chaudhary, him and Bhupinder Singh from Lalton Kalan village in a private car, and instead of taking them to police station, ferried them to Soma's office at Rishi Nagar.
He alleged that there, the cops, along with Soma and his accomplices, held them captive and assaulted them, following which Chaudhary died on the spot.
Gurwinder said he and Bhupinder managed to flee from the property dealer's office in the wee hours of Saturday and approached the police and narrated the whole story.
Assistant commissioner of police (west) Dhruman Nimbale said Chaudhary and Soma, who was also a property dealer, had developed a rivalry over a monetary dispute. Recently, Soma's cattle had gone missing, following which he accused Chaudhary of stealing them.
The ACP said the police got information about the murder in the wee hours of Saturday, adding that the police had launched a manhunt for the arrest of remaining accused.