Four get life for killing gurdwara head priest
Four persons, including a woman, have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court for strangulating the head priest of a gurdwara here over "hostilities" between them regarding control of gurdwaras in several cities including the capital.Updated: Feb 28, 2014 00:59 IST
Four persons, including a woman, have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court for strangulating the head priest of a gurdwara here over "hostilities" between them regarding control of gurdwaras in several cities including the capital.
Additional sessions judge Kamini Lau held Sukhpal Singh, 28, Ranjeet Singh, 28, Jasbir Kaur, 42, and her son Malkit Singh, 22, who all belonged to different group, guilty of the offences of murder, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
They had murdered Baba Lakhbir Singh, the 'mahant' (head) of Gurdwara 'Rub Da Kutta' in Azadpur here, as he was made head granthi in place of Jasbir Kaur who was earlier nominated for the post. The victim and convicts belonged to two different groups which were part of 'Buddha Dal', a religious sect of 'Nihang Sikhs'.
"The circumstantial evidence conclusively establishes the common purpose/plan of the accused persons i.e. to finish Baba Lakhbir Singh so that reigns of the gurdwara were taken over by Jasbir Kaur who was forcibly removed and was already reeling under insult of being forcibly removed by the victim.
"The manner in which the victim had been killed i.e. by strangulation and then being hit by a hard object after which his body was partially burnt establishes that it was the work of more than two persons. The deceased was an able-bodied man who could not have been easily overpowered by a single person," the court said in its 243-page judgement.
It imposed a fine of Rs 32,000 each on the four convicts and said, if realised, out of the fine amount, Rs one lakh be given to the family members of the victim as compensation.
According to the prosecution, on the intervening night of February 3-4, 2010, when Baba Lakbir Singh was alone in the gurdwara and his family had gone to Punjab, the four accused conspired and strangulated him with his turban.
They concealed his body for 24 hours in the store room of the gurdwara and even tried to burn it, the police had said, adding that the next night, Malkit, along with Sukhpal and Jasbir, put the body in a gunny bag and threw it near a drain in Timarpur here.
First Published: Feb 27, 2014 17:25 IST