A drunk army jawan opened fire on his relatives, killing four of them and injuring four others at Hassanpur village, near Dhuri, in Sangrur district on Tuesday. He was later shot dead by police, who had cordoned off the area and repeatedly asked him to surrender, but to no avail.
The jawan, identified as Jagdeep Singh Jaggi (28), was on leave from the army. He used his licensed .12-bore double-barrelled gun to commit the murders in the village, located about 25km from Sangrur town.
Upset over a family feud, Jagdeep first barged into his cousin Harjinder Singh’s house and shot dead his aunt, Labh Kaur, and her grandson, eight-year-old Harmadeep Singh. Then he entered the house of cousin Navinder Singh, where he shot dead his cousin sister-in-law Gurpreet Kaur and aunt Karnail Kaur.
He also fired at Harjinder, Navinder, Gurmeet Kaur and Tarsem Singh, a resident of Ranike. The latter had come to repair a motor in Navinder’s house. They were taken to Patiala and Sangrur hospitals in a serious condition.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Prithpal Singh Thind, SP (detective) Jaskaranjit Singh Teja, along with a heavy police force, reached the spot. Initially, policemen using the village gurdwara loudspeaker to ask Jagdeep to surrender. When he started firing at the cops, the SP tried to contact him on his mobile. During the conversation, Jagdeep claimed that he had consumed poison and was about to die. He even lay ‘dead’ on the rooftoop to befool the cops. As the policemen tried to approach him through rooftops of neighbouring houses, he again started firing on them.
The police obtained magisterial orders to open fire on the jawan and again asked him to surrender. When he kept firing, the SP shot him dead.
The SSP said Jagdeep had recently thrashed his cousin sister-in-law Gurpreet Kaur, whose husband is based in the US. However, the elders had apparently resolved the dispute. On Tuesday, he loaded his rifle and started firing indiscriminately.”
A case under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered. The bodies were sent to a hospital for a postmortem examination.