A former sarpanch of Nara village, who was a key witness in a murder case, was shot dead along with his official security guard at the alleged behest of a notorious gangster lodged in Karnal jail near Panipat on Friday. Two persons sustained serious injuries in the shooting.
Deceased Kuldeep Singh was on way to a Panipat court to depose in the murder case against alleged gangster Surinder alias Kala along with three others when a group of unidentified assailants opened fire at their car near Madlauda on the Panipat-Jind road.
Kuldeep and his security guard, constable Ram Niwas, were killed on the spot while Rajesh and Dharam Pal sustained serious bullet injuries.
Meanwhile, Rohtak range IGP Alok Mittal rushed to the spot and suspended Madlauda SHO Vikram Mann for his suspicious role in denying more security to the witness on Friday morning.
Mittal told HT in the evening that the assailants came in two vehicles, adding that a Land Cruiser allegedly used in the crime was later found abandoned near the crime spot.
Kuldeep's son Sushil Kumar was found murdered in the fields in 2009 and the family had raised a finger of suspicion at Kala, also a resident of Nara village.
Kuldeep had alleged that Kala, allegedly involved in heinous crimes including murder, extortion dacoity, had killed his son over a petty issue.
"Apprehending grave threat from the Kala gang, Kuldeep had approached the Madlauda police station on Friday morning for more security. As family members of Kuldeep alleged that SHO Vikram Mann refused to entertain the request, the official has been placed under suspension," the IGP said.
Mittal said that the family claimed that Friday's killings were done on the orders of Kala, adding that police were investigating. Police have launched a manhunt to nab the accused.
Following security threat from Kala, the then Rohtak IGP V Kamaraja had provided police security to Kuldeep Singh.