The farmers' protest site on Singhu border on the periphery of the national capital, which was till now labelled as a pious spot for the farmers' movement, was on Friday soaked with the blood of a man, who was mercilessly killed for allegedly desecrating a Sikh religious scripture.
Several gruesome videos surfaced on social media depicting the brutal act.
Later in the day, a Nihang Sikh, indentified as Saravjeet Singh, took the responsibility for the brutal act and surrendered before the Haryana Police. He will be produced before a court on Saturday.
The incident took place in the wee hours of Friday on the Singhu border dividing Haryana and Delhi when Lakhbir Singh (30), a resident of Tarn Taran district in Punjab, was seen carrying the Sarbloh Granth -- a Sikh religious scripture -- by a Nihang Sikh man.
IANS has learnt from several sources that Lakhbir was staying with a group of Nihang Sikhs on the Singhu border for the past 3 to 4 days.
When confronted, Lakhbir was unable to answer a barrage of questions. This lead to an argument, drawing the attention of other Nihangs present there. The fracas occurred at around 3 am in the morning.
Lakhbir was then accused of desecrating the holy Sarbloh Granth. The arguments soon turned violent and the man's hand was allegedly chopped off amid the chaos.
According to the videos of the crime accessed by IANS, the brutality began after that as the injured man was then interrogated by the Nihang Sikhs for an hour. In the end, he was tied to an overturned barricade with one hand.
The blood dripping slowly from the severed arm formed a pool on the floor where he was tied.
The cops received the first information about the incident at around 5 am, but they refrained from divulging any details about the suspects.
The police then registered an FIR against unknown persons and initiated an investigation.
According to the FIR, when a team of cops reached the spot, they found a man, whose one hand was chopped, tied to an overturned barricade.
Several Nihang Sikh men were standing near the body. When the police tried to speak to them, none of the protesters cooperated.
"The Nihangs did not even let us take down the dead body of the man from the barricade," the FIR read.
The farmers' umbrella body -- Samyukt Kisan Morcha -- said in a statement that a Nihang group at the scene has claimed responsibility for the act, and the SKM has disassociated themselves from the group.
The body was found at the same place where the farmers have been protesting against the three contentious farm laws for the past one year.
The atmosphere on the Singhu border, which has remained an active podium for the farmers to register their protest against the three farm laws, was tense throughout Friday.
Swaraj India convener and social activist Yogendra Yadav said the Nihang group was told several times by the farmer leaders that this is not a religious movement, but a site for farmers' agitation. He strongly condemned the brutal murder and demanded strict punishment for the perpetrators of this barbaric act.
Yadav said that SKM will fully cooperate and support a legal investigation into the matter.