In yet another incident of post-election violence between Congress and Akali workers, a Congress worker was critically injured when former chairman of Dera Baba Nanak block samiti, Kulwant Singh, and his men allegedly shot at him and severely injured him with sharp-edged weapons at Agwan village in Batala on Friday.
Tension was already simmering between the two groups and, on Friday morning, Kulwant, a close aide of SAD leader Sucha Singh Langah, and his group attacked Kanwaljeet while he was coming back from his fields, it is learnt.
One of the men fired from point-blank range at Kanwaljeet. While his family says the bullet hit him in the foot, the police were yet to confirm that. After he fell down, the group assaulted him further; and also attacked people who came to the spot after listening to cries of help raised by Kanwaljeet. After assuming that they had managed to kill Kanwaljeet, the group left.
Deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Dera Baba Nanak, Vishaljeet Singh and the station house officer (SHO) reached the spot and controlled the situation after supporters of both parties started gathering near the village.
The victim was rushed to the civil hospital in Dera Baba Nanak but was later referred to an Amritsar hospital.
Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa blamed the Akalis. “Kulwant Singh had created terror in the entire area and, after losing the elections, the Akalis got agitated . They will have to pay the price for their acts of violence. I have talked to the SSP, who has assured me that the guilty will be punished,” he said.
When contacted senior superintendent of police (SSP), Batala, Deepak Holari, said he had dispatched a police team to Amritsar to record the statement of the victim after which a case will be registered. Meanwhile, the police teams were raiding possible hideouts of the accused. “All the accused will be arrested within 24 hours,” he said.
This incident comes less than a week after two Congress supporters were shot dead in an alleged bid to take control of a truck union at Bareta village in Mansa. There was also the murder of a senior Akali worker in a village in Gurdaspur two days ago.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal had on Thursday asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to direct the police to curb incidents of “political vendetta” with a heavy hand immediately. In a statement, the former deputy CM had referred to these incidents. “Police should be directed to nip cases of political vendetta in the bud lest it lead to a serious law and order problem,” Sukhbir said.