The Akali-versus-Akali war that began in the Nihal Singh Wala area of the district in the run-up to the panchayat elections continues to take its toll even later.
The murder of two supporters of former minister Tota Singh at Saidoke village on Saturday night proved that the MLA had not ceased fire with Nihal Singh Wala legislator Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike.
Around 10.30pm on Saturday, the two Akali groups defeated together by the People's Party of Punjab (PPP) turned their verbal duel into an armed conflict, in which one faction shot two members of the other. Jagmohan Singh and Gurjant Singh, Cousins from Saidoke, died on way to Moga after being referred from Nihal Singh Wala.
This fight for dominance in the village had escalated during the panchayat elections when Jagmohan Singh of the Tota group ran for sarpanch against Bhagike loyalist Chamkaur Singh. When Jagdev Singh of the PPP won, Jagmohan blamed Chamkaur for the defeat and it led to an argument after the counting of votes.
On Saturday, the Akali groups clashed and bricks were also hurled in the fight. "Former schoolteacher Varinderjit Singh drove into the scuffle," said Swaran Singh, station house officer (SHO) of Nihal Singh Wala. "With his licensed revolver, he shot Jagmohan in the abdomen and Gurjant Singh in the torso," he added.
The families of Jagmohan and Gurjant claimed their bodies on Sunday after autopsy. "Five people (former government teacher Varinderjeet Singh; Chamkaur Singh; his son, Kala Singh; Mander Singh, and his brother, Sukhdev Singh) have been charged under Sections 302 (murder), 148 (armed riot), 149 (unlawful assembly with common intent) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and various sections of the Arms Act," said the SHO.
Dilbag Singh Pannu, superintendent of police at Moga, confirmed that the police had been unable to arrest any of the accused.
July 5: Six people, including a kabaddi player, are injured in an Akali group clash at Mauli Baidwan village near Mohali; groups backed by Balwant Singh Ramoowalia and Shiromani Akali Dal vice-president Kiranbir Singh Kang involved. Ramoowalia supporters allegedly fire 10 rounds at the house of new sarpanch Kulwinder Kaur.
July 3: In violence after the panchayat elections at Chait Singh Wala village in Faridkot district, a youth is shot dead outside the polling station allegedly by a "drunken" police inspector at the orders of the winning candidate. Group loyal to senior youth leader Parmbans Singh Romana blames the faction of Faridkot legislator Deep Malhotra.