A Dalit youth was allegedly abducted by a group of men and subjected to inhuman torture, before he was killed and his left leg chopped off in the Mansa district of Punjab on Monday, reports said.
According to the police, Sukhchain Singh Pali, in his early 20s, had been involved in brawls with local liquor smugglers over the last few months. Pali, a petty smuggler himself, was also in the business of bootlegging and had fought with his rivals, who are upper-caste landlords.
Since the fall-out, Pali had been working with some liquor contractors, which had caused suspicions that he acting as an informer and had resulted in a series of confrontations, The Times of India said. The clashes were resolved each time with the intervention of the villagers, but the police had, reportedly, turned a blind eye to it.
"The rival group often threatened my son to give up the 'business'," said Resham Singh, the victim's father, to the Hindustan Times. Sukhbir Singh, Pali's brother, also told The Tribune that in spite of alerting the police of his missing sibling, the former showed no urgency in their response and arrived almost an hour later.
A case of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against Balbir Singh, Hardeep Singh, Amandeep Singh, Sadhu Singh, Babrik Singh and Sita Singh. The police are hoping to arrest the suspects soon.
In the meantime, the victim's family has refused to cremate the body until the missing leg is recovered and the culprits arrested, The Indian Express reported. Dalit groups have also demanded speedy action from the police.
In a chillingly similar incident, on 11 December 2015, the limbs of two men were cut off at a farmhouse in Abohar, allegedly owned by a leader of the incumbent Shiromani Akali Dal, Shiv Lal Doda. 27-year-old Bhim Tank died on the way to the hospital, after both his hands and legs were chopped off, while his friend Gurjant Singh lost his one hand but survived the attack.
Also on HuffPost: