Protest after a road accident, in which a labourer was killed, took an ugly turn in the Focal Point area of Ludhiana on Thursday night when a group of transporters allegedly opened fire on agitators, leading to the death of another labourer.
Tension gripped the area after Vishwanath Sahu, 32, of Fouji Colony was crushed by a loaded tractor-trailer. The driver took shelter at a steel factory in order to escape the ire of protesters who were chasing him.
The owner of the vehicle and other transporters also reached the spot. As they were talking with the labourers and the family of the deceased, the protesters started hurling stones at them. The transporters also took shelter in the steel factory.
The protesters damaged the tractor-trailer after the vehicle owner refused to pay `30 lakh compensation to Vishwanath’s family. In retaliation, the transporters opened fire on the protesters from inside the factory, killing a worker on the spot.
Ludhiana deputy commissioner of police Dhruman Nimble said tractor driver Hikmat Chand had been arrested and four others had been rounded up. A murder case had been registered against transport company owner Major Jeet Singh. Bodies of both the persons were sent to the civil hospital for post-mortem.
Focal Point station house officer Harjinder Singh said: “We have not arrested Major Singh so far as fired bullets in self-defence.”