At least two persons were injured seriously in a clash between two armed rival groups owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal at Selowal village under Ghuman police station on Friday night. Police have since booked over 20 persons on charge of attempt to murder and other offences under different sections of the IPC.
Sources said that both groups owing allegiance to former Sri Hargobindpur MLA Capt Balbir Singh Bath and chief parliamentary secretary and present Sri Hargobindpur MLA Desh Raj Dhugga had been at loggerheads ever the former group had opposed the candidate of another group for the post of sarpanch in the recent panchayat elections.
Even three days ago, both groups had indulged in a fight over disposal of sewage into the panchayat pond, in which Paramjeet Kaur, Rajwinder Kaur, Janak Raj and Mukha Singh were injured and were admitted to different hospitals. Interestingly, Ghuman SHO Kulwinder Singh had summoned members of both the groups and tried to strike a compromise between them but in vain. Supporters of both groups had begun to fight in the presence of police officials, it was learnt.
In the latest showdown between the two groups on Friday night, their supporters opened fire on each other in which Daljit Singh and Rimple were injured. They were rushed to the civil hospital in Batala, but doctors referred them to Amritsar in view of their serious condition. It was learnt that firearms and sharp-edged weapons were freely used by both the groups.
In his complaint to Ghuman police, injured Daljeet Singh claimed that Kulwant Singh along with three dozen accomplices barged into his house and opened fire. The miscreants also ransacked his house and damaged household goods and fled with cash and jewellery kept there, the complainant added.
Police have registered a case under Sections 307, 452, 324, 336, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Kulwant Singh, Sarabjeet Singh, Anam Singh, Tarsem Singh, Jaswinder Lal and Mukhtiar Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Pina Kaur, Mohinder Singh, Prem Singh, Janak Raj and 10 unidentified persons who are absconding.
When contacted, Batala SSP Tulsi Ram said that police were raiding all possible hideout of the accused to apprehend them.