A 42-years-old, Akali worker Dharam Singh, brother of newly elected sarpanch of Bhanmajara village was crushed to death by a car in the village on Friday late night after which residents attacked on a police party and injured four policemen and also blocked Jalandhar-Chandigarh highway for more than three hours on Saturday.
The workers of ruling Akali party alleged that the car was being driven by Chaman Lal, a Congress party leader and others, which hit Dharam Singh knowingly as Congress lost panchayat elections from Akali after 25 years.
On the other hand, Congress party leaders alleged that Dharam Singh was hit by police's vehicle which was guarding the car of Chaman’s relative when police was called up in village to rescue them after newly elected sarpanch Jail Singh and his more than 100 supporters were threatening them.
According to information available, Jail Singh, SAD leader has won sarpanch seat from Congress candidate Paramjeet Singh with the margin of 74 votes.
Bhanmajara was a traditionally panchayat of Congress for last 25 years and it was for the first time when another party has won the panchayat elections in the village.
The Akali workers were celebrating the win of Jail Singh into the village for last two days. Similarly, on Friday, when they were on the way to house of Chaman Lal, started shouting in enthusiasm, Chaman called up the police to house for the safety of his family members and relatives from them.
A police party of Jadla police post then reached at the house for safety evacuation of Chaman’s relatives from village. Speaking with Hindustan Times, sarpanch Jail Singh said that he along with others came outside panchayat house after a meeting in the village around 9 pm on Friday. He further said that a suddenly a white swift car which was being driven by Chaman Lal along with his sons, Gurpreet Singh and Prithpal Singh, and others came and hit his brother Dharam Singh who fell on the road and sustained injuries.
He said that then, he was taken to nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. He also alleged that Jadla police was helping the Congress leader which angered the villagers.
Sarpanch further alleged that Chaman has also not paid an amount of Rs. 8 lakh to him for a land deal.
On the other hand, Congress leader Chaman Lal told HT that sarpanch Jail Singh and his Akali workers were creating ruckus outside his house and were carrying weapons due to which he called up Jadla police for safety reasons.
He alleged that they damaged gate of the house and entered by jumping the wall after which, he fired two shots from his license revolver into air and only then, they fled away from the spot.
He further said that when police party car was guarding their car, it was being driven by one of his relative, Dharam Singh who was carrying sword, attacked on a car after jumping over car’s bonnet.
"Suddenly, when his relatives pressed the brake, Dharam fell on other side and was crushed to death under police’s vehicle", he alleged after which agitated mob of residents attacked police party and vandalised the police vehicle. Four policemen, including In-charge of the police post, ASI Surinder Pal, were also injured by mob and were admitted to Balachaur Civil Hospital.
After the incident, Heavy police force was called up and deployed into the village hospital. On Saturday, around 9am more than 100 villagers led by BJP leader Sham Sunder Jadla held a demonstration against police’s inaction and demanded immediate arrest of all the accused. The three-hour long dharna lifted only after the police managed to arrest two of accused. The Sadar police have registered a case under sections 302 (murder), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120- B (criminal conspiracy) against Congress leader Chaman Lal, his two sons Gurpreet Singh, Prithpal Singh and four others.
Factionalism among SAD leaders come to fore publicly again when BJP leader Sham Sunder Jadla, SAD leader Jagteshwar Majithia, Satinder Kaur Kariha and others asked the agitators to lift dharna after police assured to arrest all seven accused within five hours.