Fazilka police on Saturday booked Akali leader and liqour baron Shiv Lal Doda, nephew Amit and five others for the murder of a former employee of Doda.
Meanwhile, the situation at Abohar, a subdivision of Fazilka district, remained tense as all business establishments were closed.
Bhim, 27, was allegedly attacked with sharp-edged weapons by Doda’s worker, Harry, and others, during a meeting at the liquor baron’s farmhouse on Friday morning. Sources said there was enmity between Harry and Bhim, who also worked for Doda till two months ago, allegedly over a girl. There was an argument between Harry and Bhim during the panchayat meeting that turned ugly, leading to the violent clash.
Bhim died at an Amritsar hospital on Friday night. His associate, Gurjant alias Janta, who was injured in the incident, is said to be critical.
Bhim’s family and villagers accused Doda’s nephew, Amit Doda, who manages the liquor business, of the assault.
A protest was held at Abohar on Saturday where protesters raised slogans against Doda, Amit and the Punjab government. They also burnt a liquor shop of Doda besides burning his effigies. Heavy police force was deployed in the area. To monitor the situation, Amar Singh Chahal, DIG Ferozepur, stayed put at Abohar.
Later in the evening, a large number of people attended Bhim’s cremation after the body was handed over to the family after the post-mortem.
Meanwhile, Abohar MLA Sunil Jakhar claimed, “It’s not a simple murder; it is the result of the nexus between the ruling party and the liquor mafia. Doda and his goons have left behind even the ISIS.” Jakhar said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal should ensure the immediate arrest of all accused. He said it was high time the Akali-BJP government stopped shielding the mafias.
Amit, however, denied the charges saying he was out of town when the incident took place.
“We have launched a manhunt to nab the accused and they would be apprehended soon,” the DIG said.