Five people have been charged with firing two bullets at PPP leader Lakhvir Singh Lakha on Sunday evening at Sidhana village.
"We have charged Gurtej Singh (22) and four other people under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 148 (armed riot), and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 25 (certain offences), 27 (carrying arms for unlawful purpose), 54 (renewal of licence), and 59 (licence fee) of the Arms Act," said deputy superintendent of police Randeep Singh. "None of the suspects are under arrest. The PPP leader took two bullets from close range."
The attack on Lakha had been made outside a gymnasium. The police are yet to verify if the main suspect, Gurtej Singh, had criminal history. He is, however, charged on the complaint of eyewitness Ranjit Singh Munna, also a friend of Lakha.
In the last assembly election at Rampura, Lakha of the People's Party of Punjab (PPP) had stood a respectable third against veteran politicians such as former Congress legislator Gurpreet Singh Kangar and now education minister Sikander Singh Maluka. He won more than 10,000 votes.
Claiming the victim still unfit to record statement, DSP Randeep Singh said he was under treatment in Ludhiana and out of danger. Shooting on him on Sunday had triggered conspiracy theories.
A bullet had pierced his neck and another lodged in the lungs when Lakha was admitted to Bathinda's Adesh Medical College. After first aid, he was referred to Dayanand Medical College in Ludhiana. The assault had triggered tension in Rampura Phul, which was a hypersensitive constituency during the elections because of its history of violent political clashes.
A day after the attack, PPP president Manpreet Singh Badal had stated in Bathinda that it appeared to him to be a case of political vendetta. Her said Lakha had been fired at from two pistols and the suspect show to be in hospital to let him get away.
He had given the state government 10 days to solve the case to avoid street protests.