An armed gang of dacoits, struck at two houses at Kamalpur village on the Dadwindi-Mothanwala road on Sunday mid-night, injuring 16 people.
The attack, the first in recent years, was so sudden that the victims had no time to retaliate. The assailants' first target was the house of Maqsudan Sahni (50).
“The family was in sleep when attacked with swords and other sharp-edged weapons. Sahni, his wife Madhu (40), daughters Kiran (20), Pooja (15) and son Pawan Kumar (19) were injured and beaten till they were unconscious. They then fled with Rs 25,000 cash, mobile phones and jewellery. They even removed the gold ornaments wore by the members of the family before leaving the spot,” said the son Pawan.
Later, they attacked the house of Ajit Singh (70), within a km of the first target. In this attack, they injured 11 family members. The exact loss could not be assessed as all family members were in hospital.
“We are in a daze. It was dark and we could not even see the number of attackers, but their number was large,” said Gurwinder Singh (18).
Those injured were Gyan Kaur (75), Hardyal Singh (40), Shital Singh (37), Jaswinder Kaur (55), Kulwant Singh (34), Harpeet Kaur (21), Jaswant Kaur(33), Manjeet Kaur (36) and Balwinder Kaur (25).
“The attackers checked diligently for any valuable left in the house. We are not sure about the loss,” police sources said.
The injured were taken to civil hospital Sultanpur Lodhi, from where 10 people were referred to a Kapurthala hospital. Seven of them were later referred to Satyam Hospital, Jalandhar.
“All the injured, except two, are stable. The critical patients are under observation. However, even they are stable,” said civil surgeon Dr Balbir Singh.
Kapurthala SSP Inderbir Singh reached the spot even before the area SHO. “We have issued an alert in all adjoining districts. The dacoits will be nabbed soon,” he said.
Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema and other political leaders of the area also visited the spot. Kapurthala DC Daljit Singh Mangat reached Kapurthala civil hospital in the morning and met the injured.
State government announces free treatment.
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has announced free treatment for the victims. “We have received the communication from the CM office. Treatment charges the injured, whether admitted here or at the private hospital in Jalandhar will be given by the state exchequer,” the DC said.
Signs of black days: Cheema
Congress MLA Navtej Singh Cheema had expressed concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. “No one is safe in the state. Youth is being diverted towards drugs, and taking to crime to meet this need” he said.
“SHOs instead of reporting incident to the SSPs, first report it to the halqa incharges of the assembly constituency. The system has crumbled, with no law and order at all,” he added.