Five people were injured in a clash as two Akali groups opened fire at each other at Rania village under Nihal Singh Wala constituency in this district on Wednesday night over the issue of panchayat elections.
The one group owed allegiance to education minister Sikander Singh Maluka's brother-in-law Jaspal Singh Rania and Nihal Singh Wala MLA Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike, and the other to Dharamkot MLA Tota Singh.
The two groups also hurled bricks at each other.
The injured were taken to the civil hospital, where they were referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana and Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital in Faridkot.
Davinder Singh Rania, SAD general secretary in North America, and also the cousin of Harinder Singh Rania, former SGPC member, got seriously injured in the clash.
The other injured, Surjeet Singh, resident of Rania village, and Mangaljeet Singh, resident of Moga, are members of the Tota Singh group, while Manga Singh and Sarabjeet Singh are members of the group of Maluka's kin Jaspal Singh Rania.
Harinder's wife Narinder Kaur, who is also an SGPC member, is contesting the elections for sarpanch's post from Rania village. From the Bhagike group, former block samiti member Ajit Pal Singh is contesting for the sarpanch's post.
While both the groups accused each other of opening fire, the police said the firing took place from both sides.
The incident took place around 10.30pm when Davinder Singh Rania was returning to Moga in his car after campaigning for his sister-in-law Narinder Kaur. According to police, a dozen armed men intercepted him and opened fire.
Davinder said, "We were returning to Moga from Rania village when around 30 people from the other group stopped us and an altercation ensued."
However, the rival group denied the allegations.
SSP Surjeet Singh Grewal said a case under various sections of the IPC and the Arms Act had been registered against Ajitpal Singh, Harjeet Singh, Ranjeet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Sarabjeet Singh, Sunny, Ranbir Singh, Iqbal Singh, Bachitter Singh, Daljeet Singh and others, all residents of Rania village, on the statement of Davinder Singh Rania.
"A cross-FIR has also been registered on the statement of Mangat Singh against Surjit Singh, Boota Singh and Gurdip Singh," said Grewal.