Bathinda clash over rooster: Drug angle surfaces after victim’s death
The recent theft of a rooster that sparked off a group clash at Chauke village in Bathinda will be probed by a special investigation team after the death of a 26-year-old kabaddi player, Harvinder Singh on June 9.
Harvinder’s family and their supporters have been protesting against the rival group by placing his body on national highway-7 (Bathinda-Zirakpur) in front of Rampura Sadar police station since Thursday evening, forcing the cops to divert traffic via link roads. They have now alleged that Harvinder was fatally attacked for objecting to the sale of narcotics at their village by the accused. They also claimed that the police were shielding the drug peddlers.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) BS Virk said a three-member SIT led by SP (investigation) Balwinder Singh will probe the matter. “In his complaint, Harvinder had only cited the theft of the rooster as the reason behind the attack on him and his friends. But in view of the charges made by his family, an SIT will probe the charges that drug peddlers were behind the murder,” Virk said.
The first information report (FIR) was registered at Rampura police station on May 27 on the complaint of Harvinder, who died during treatment at a private hospital in Ludhiana on June 9. In the FIR, there was no reference to any illegal sale or supply of narcotics. .
Harvinder named five residents of Chauke for the attack on him and others at a farm on Pitho road on the evening of May 26. Later, the names of eight more persons were added to the complaint of others.
According to the FIR, Harvinder said that Gagna Singh and his brother Babbu Singh had stolen the rooster from the house of Harvinder’s uncle Makhan Singh. “My uncle brought the matter to the notice of the accused’s family. After that Gagna and Babbu were annoyed with me for supporting my uncle over the incident. When I was at a farm with friends, Gagna and Babbu attacked me and my friends with sharp-edged weapons, baseball bats and a pistol,” Harvinder said in the FIR.
The SSP said eight people have been arrested and efforts are on to catch the rest. “Our teams are talking to Harvinder’s family to ensure justice. Initial investigation says no one sustained a bullet injury and we are trying to secure videos of the clash,” he added.