Over a dozen armed men opened indiscriminate fire at a Congress-PPP election rally, killing one person and injuring at least three others in Rampura Phull area of the district.
Around 15-16 armed men opened fire at the rally in Adampur village in Bathinda organised ahead of May 19 panchayat polls.
Congress activist Jasvir Singh was killed in the attack while Lakhbir Singh alias Lakha Sidhana, a prominent PPP leader and the son of Congress candidate for Zila Parishad polls was injured, sources said.
Lakha had addressed the rally in favour of Congress candidate Malkiat Singh, who is contesting election to Bathinda Zila Parishad from Bhai Rupa zone.
Malkiat's brother Rajwinder Singh alias Raju was also wounded in the firing. The third, Balbir Singh, a close associate of Lakha was also injured in the attack.
Lakha has suffered four gun shot injuries in his abdomen, shoulder and ankle and his condition is serious, hospital sources said.
According to police sources over 60 rounds were fired from various weapons including .30 pistol, a .30 US carbine and .12 bore gun besides some other weapons at Lakha, while he had just entered his car.
Police have recovered about 30 spent cartridges from the spot.
Meanwhile, SSP Bathinda Ravcharan Brar termed it a "gang war" and said the attack was a result of personal enmity and not because of political rivalry.
"One of the injured, Balbir Singh, has identified one of the assailants as Jagseer Singh alias Seera," the SSP said.
The police officer said that Lakha and Seera had old rivalry and the firing was part of "gang war" between them.
"The assailants have cleverly chosen an election rally for the attack to avoid suspicion. But we have identified and they would soon be arrested," he said.
Meanwhile, Union minister Manish Tewari condemned the killing of the Congress worker and said his murder vindicated the party's stand that the "ruling alliance was resorting to violence and intimidation to hoodwink the political opponents".
"Akalis were setting a very dangerous precedent by resorting to such type of violence," Tewari said.