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Attack on RSS leader: Eyewitness describes shooting, seeks security

A shopkeeper claims to be the only eyewitness of the attack on Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’s Punjab vice-president brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (retired) and he wants security.

punjab Updated: Aug 08, 2016 16:21 IST
Jatinder Kohli
Maqdoompura resident Pramod Kannojiya (40) was looking down at traffic from the first floor of his house as usual when the leader was shot at in front of his eyes.
Maqdoompura resident Pramod Kannojiya (40) was looking down at traffic from the first floor of his house as usual when the leader was shot at in front of his eyes. (HT Photo)

A shopkeeper claims to be the only eyewitness of the attack on Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’s Punjab vice-president brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (retired) and he wants security.

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Maqdoompura resident Pramod Kannojiya (40) was looking down at traffic from the first floor of his house as usual when the leader was shot at in front of his eyes.

“Around 8.15pm, I spotted a man (Gagneja) easing himself outside an abandoned plot near the Red Cross market. Two men, with faces covered; one of them semi-turbaned, pulled their motorcycle over. The pillion rider, who appeared to be in his twenties, got down to shoot him twice in the abdomen and once in the liver before he fled to Skylark Chowk firing in the air,” said Kannojiya, who runs a dry-cleaner’s business near his house.

RSS leader Jagdish Gagneja being admitted to DMC Hospital in Ludhiana on Sunday. (HT Photo)

“I came down to the street and called my friend Ravi (37) over for help. Gagneja’s wife, Sudesh, came out of her husband’s car and started wailing. I flagged two cars but fearing a police case, the drivers declined to take Gagneja to hospital,” said the shopkeeper. “I forced another car to stop and got Ravi to take him to hospital in that. Ravi had alerted police already.”

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When they reached Satyam Hospital, they were unaware that the injured man was a political leader. “As a good citizen, it was my duty to help him,” said the eyewitness. “Doctors shifted Gagneja to Patel Hospital. They were taking him into surgery when police arrived and asked me repeated questions about Saturday night but said not a word about giving security to my family.”

“On July 22, car-borne shooters had killed my nephew, Rimple, near Dhobi Ghat,” said the shopkeeper’s friend, Ravi. “Knowing the pain, I moved Gagneja to hospital as fast as possible and prayed for him to recover.”