Members of two truck unions, owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress, clashed at Bareta town of Mansa on Sunday morning leaving two persons dead and one injured.
Police said the two groups had an old rivalry over the control of truck union in Bareta. Binder Singh of the Akali Dal, along with his supporters, allegedly opened fire killing Rai Tejinder Singh, aka Ravi, Raju, aka, Rajesh and injuring Sukhwinder Singh, said the police, adding both groups entered in a verbal dual on Saturday evening at the truck union office after the election results were declared.
A case under Sections 302 (murder), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code and 25/54/59 of the Arms Act has been registered against Binder Singh, Goldy, Perveen, Gurpreet Singh and four other unidentified persons.
The rivalry dates back to 2008 when Binder’s friend Jagga Singh, truck union president of Budhlada, was allegedly killed by Rai Tejinder Singh. Tejinder, a Congress worker, wanted to control the Budhlada truck union and allegedly eliminated Jagga. Binder had reportedly vowed to take revenge from Tejinder, who was later convicted for the murder and was recently out on bail.
Sources said that even then the truck union president was murdered after a change in regime as SAD-BJP combine had come to power in the state.
Locals also allege that the truck union office where the incident took place is situated at stone’s throw from the Bareta police station and despite their repeated pleas, cops didn’t act on time. “When we anticipated that the situation might turn violent, we rushed to the police station but the cops failed to act,” said a local resident.
When contacted, Mansa superintendent of police Viveksheel Soni said 17 rounds were fired from country-made weapons and five persons have been arrested.