Bathinda, Punjab: More than a month after the clash between Bhai Rupa villagers and a team of the SGPC over a land dispute, the police have included the name of a teenage boy in an attempt to murder case and arrested him.
The police had arrested Balkar Singh (18) on Monday while he was making an announcement asking villagers to gather on the Langar Sewa Society premises in the morning as villagers had the information that a team of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) will be taking possession of land. Earlier, he was booked under Sections 107 and 151 of the IPC.
However, now police have included his name in the list of 16 people who were booked under Section 307 of the IPC (attempt to murder) and arrested him for the same. Five of the accused are already lodged in the jail and the boy is the sixth one to be arrested in this connection.
Meanwhile, the villagers have blamed the police for victimising the boy because he made an announcement over loudspeaker.
They alleged that the police were trying to suppress the voice of all the people who are standing against the SGPC’s move to usurp the land.
Dharam Singh, a member of Dhan Dhan Baba Bhai Roop Chand ji Langar Sewa Society, alleged that even as police force was present in the village ever since the clash took place and the said boy was also there, the police did not book him then and slapped attempt to murder charge on him only after he made the announcement.
Meanwhile, the arrest of the boy has also invited reaction from other spheres of society. District president of Association for Democratic Rights, Bagga Singh criticised the police for arresting the boy and said the boy has been victimised for mobilising the villagers.
However, Bathinda SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said the boy has been arrested on attempt to murder charges on the basis of testimony by complainant Baldev Singh who is posted as a clerk at Sri Harmandir Sahib.
After a clash between the villagers and an SGPC team on May 7 over ownership of 161 acres of land, the police had booked 16 people on the attempt to murder charges.
Five are locked in the jail while some other accused were unidentified. Backed by gun-toting and stick-wielding persons, the SGPC team had taken possession of the land on Monday. Both the SGPC and Langar Sewa society are staking claim to the land in village.