Main accused in former Akali sarpanch’s murder surrenders
Exactly a month after former Akali sarpanch Dalbir Singh was murdered at Dhilwan village in Batala, the main accused surrendered before the police on Thursday.
Batala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Opinderjeet Singh Ghuman said the police had launched a hunt to trace main accused Balwinder Singh but he was evading arrest. He, however, surrendered on Thursday.
Dalbir was murdered in cold blood while he was out on a stroll along with his brother Harwinder Singh on November 19. The assailants hacked him several times with a sickle and later pumped six bullets into his chest.
Police arrested one of the accused, Amritpal Singh of Dalam village, from Maharashtra on November 28, while Balwinder’s son, Mandeep Singh, Major Singh, Jagdish Singh and Jagdeep Singh are still absconding.
A court has sent Balwinder to three-day police remand. “Balwinder’s interrogation can lead to arrest of other accused,” said the SSP.
The murder sparked protests by SAD leaders, including party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia.
On November 26, a special investigation team (SIT) was formed under the supervision of IG (border range) Surinder Pal Singh Parmar to trace the accused.
Police said Dalbir’s neighbour Balwinder nursed a grudge against him after a verbal spat over a petty issue. A compromise was struck between them with the help of villagers, but on November 19 when Dalbir was taking a stroll on the outskirts of the village, Balwinder and his two sons — Major Singh and Mandeep Singh — waylaid him. One of them pumped six bullets into Dhilwanm, while Balwinder reportedly chopped off the victim’s legs with a sharp-edged weapon.
A case under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and various sections of the Arms Act was registered against Balwinder, his sons and four unidentified persons. Later, the police identified the four accused as Harjinder Singh of Kahnowal village, Gurmeet Singh of Pabaralli, Jagdish Singh of Dalam Naglan and Amritpal Singh of Dalam Nangal village.