In a horrific murder caught on camera, a factory worker was hacked to death by three men, including two Nihang Sikhs, over his chewing tobacco on a street in Golden Temple's vicinity in Amritsar last night, police said today. One of the accused, Ramandeep Singh, has been arrested while searches are on for the two Nihang Sikhs.
A CCTV camera outside a hotel captured the murder. The body remained on the street overnight, next to a drain, until police got to know this morning.
It was just after midnight when the Nihang Sikhs — part of an ultra-conservative order within the Sikhs — got into a quarrel with victim Harmanjeet Singh, a Chatiwind area resident, reported to be in his 20s. "They had taken offence to his chewing tobacco and being drunk while roaming in that area," Police Commissioner Arun Pal Singh told reporters. The street is barely a kilometre from the temporal Sikh shrine Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple.
"It is shameful that while there were 6-7 people on the spot, none of them called us," the city police chief said.
Harmanjeet's mother said he was to migrate abroad soon; though she could not speak more.
On Wednesday night, he was sitting on his motorcycle when two Nihangs approached him.
The two-minute CCTV clip shared by the police shows a brief verbal spat before one of the Nihangs pulls out his sword. The victim pushes him and tries to escape on foot, but the two Nihangs grab and overpower him. A third man is seen joining the assault and landing dagger blows on the victim. Bleeding and staggering, the victim gets up as the attackers walk away. And then he turns a corner, beyond the camera's view.
The body was found nearby.
A person who was killed by the Nihang Singh has gone viral on #SocialMedia. In reaction, @cpamritsar identified the individuals, one accused has been arrested, and raids are being carried out to apprehend the remaining suspects. #ActionAgainstCrimepic.twitter.com/QfPP8wu58m— Commissioner of Police Amritsar (@cpamritsar) September 8, 2022
Asked why a patrol team could not spot the body in such a high-security area, the police chief said, "We have around 4,300 personnel on duty, for a city of over 12 lakh people. We try our best to cover every area. But citizens also have a duty. Everyone has a mobile phone. They just need to call 112 or inform the nearest police station."
On earlier fights over similar issues in the area, he was asked how the police would ensure such vigilantism is stopped. "Whenever we have got a complaint, we have acted with alertness," he replied.