Three miscreants in a white Hyundai i-20, bearing Ludhiana registration number, fired seven shots from two pistols in broad daylight near the Sector 38 (west) gurdwara in the city on Sunday, killing a 40-year-old transporter from Hoshiarpur. The victim, Satnam Singh alias Bittu, (40), was to appear as witness in a Hoshiarpur court on April 30 in the case of the murder of his brother — Nishan Singh, alias Shana, of Khurdan village — in July 2013. Police attribute Satnam’s killing to enmity that has its roots in that case.
Satnam was the sarpanch of Khurdan in Hoshiarpur’s Garhdiwala tehsil and is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Victim tried to take cover behind truck
Police say the firing took place when Satnam was walking towards the truck that had brought him and other villagers to the gurdwara. Suddenly, his name was called out and when he turned in response, a volley of bullets was fired at him. Satnam tried to take cover under the rear tyres of the truck, but to no avail. Later, his blood-stained pyjama and slippers were found near the truck along with spent bullet shells.
Witness heard gunshots,saw a white car pass by
The witness to the murder, the driver of the truck, Nirmal Singh said, “The sarpanch was walking towards the truck. Suddenly, I heard the sound of gunshots being fired from a white Hyundai i20. Before I could react, the car had fled.”
Two pistols used
Seven shells of bullets fired from two different weapons were found on the spot. Four shells were of .12bore pistol, while three were of .9mm pistol. “Two weapons were used in the firing and we have found two different shells of bullets on the spot,” said DSP (South) Deepak Yadav.
“Old enmity led to the firing. Satnam had been coming to the gurdwara for the past two days,” said SSP Eish Singhal, confirming that seven shots were fired by three people in a Hyundai i20. Police and forensic teams reached the spot and sketches of the accused are being made based on information provided by the witness.
Rivalry over control of truck union another probable motive
Police are also not ruling the possibility that Satnam, a transporter, could have been killed due to a dispute over taking control of the Hariana-Garhdiwala truck union in Hoshiarpur. He had been a past president of the union. In the recent past, members of his group had clashed with men from another transporter of that region, Charni, of Rana village.
Family names three suspects
Police have registered a case under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and other relevant Sections of the Arms Act against Tirath, Bobby and Arshdeep, all of Hoshiarpur, after the family of Satnam named them as suspects. Another unidentified person, the driver of the i20, has also been booked.