Attack on Dhadrianwale: Luck, driver’s courage helped dodge death

  • Aneesha Sareen and Tarsem Singh Deogan, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: May 19, 2016 10:37 IST
Ranijt Singh Dhadrianwale during the cremation of Bhupinder Singh in Ludhiana on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

It was sheer luck and a bit of courage shown by the driver that Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale survived the murderous attack here on Tuesday in which his aide was shot dead. That’s what the statement of driver of the vehicle that was under attack points to.

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In his statement to the police, Kulwinder Singh, driver of the preacher, has narrated the horror they had gone through on Tuesday evening for 20 long minutes.

Kulwinder, a resident of Mulepar in Fatehgarh Sahib, is now the complainant in the case registered at the PAU police station. He has been with Dhadrianwale for about a year.

“We were on way to Isawal village to attend a congregation in a Land Cruiser (PUT 0001). Bhupinder Singh Dhakki (who was shot dead) was sitting next to me on the front seat while Dhadrianwale and latter’s sewadar Harinder Singh were sitting on the rear seat,” the FIR quotes Kulwinder.

He stated that their convoy comprised a Toyota Fortuner SUV, driven by Jasvir Singh, that was ahead of their vehicle and it was occupied by four people. A Mahindra Scorpio driven by Harpinder Singh and a Toyota Innova were behind them, reads the FIR.

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The convoy reached Barewal bridge at 7.45pm, when they noticed a tent serving ‘chhabeel’. “We stopped and a turbaned man, apparently in his 30s, came up to Fortuner to serve sweetened water to its driver Jasvir. He asked Jasvir in which vehicle Dhadrianwale was sitting,” Kulwinder told the police.

Before the driver could reply, the person noticed the Land Cruiser and called out to his men, he said. “Soon, a crowd of 30-40 people surrounded our vehicle and they sprayed some opaque liquid on the front windshield. They then launched an attack with rods, baseball bats and hockey sticks. As I ignited the engine and pressed the

accelerator, they started chasing us, firing indiscriminately. One of the bullets hit Bhupinder Singh in the head and he collapsed on me. The bullets had flattened tyres of our vehicle, but I still drove fast. Dhadrianwale ducked behind the seat to escape the rain of bullets. I drove for about 4 km,” Kulwinder told the police.

He said at one point the Tata Safari belonging to the accused overtook their vehicle and fired from the front. “I took a turn near the canal and took shelter in a school and called the police,” says the FIR, quoting Kulwinder. However, they couldn’t lift, Bhupinder Singh, who had died on the spot, states the FIR.

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