A former honorary wildlife warden, whose accomplices allegedly assaulted a man in Khangwari village, was kept hostage by villagers for several hours on Monday before the police and civil officials rescued him.
Later, an attempt to murder case was lodged against him and five others at the Garhdiwala police station. Reports said accused Gunraj Singh’s jeep was damaged in a collision with another vehicle in Dholbaha area a few days ago for which he had sought huge compensation.
Gunraj is a relative of an inspector general (IG) of Punjab police. He reportedly asked Rajesh Kumar, who had mediated between the two parties, to get the money.Gunraj’s men came to Rajesh’s shop on Monday morning and attacked him with cricket bats and sharp-edged weapons. The assailants fled from the spot. But when Gunraj arrived in his vehicle, angry villagers captured him. He fired in the air to scare them away but they overpowered him and locked him inside the shop. They also smashed his SUV. When a worker from his farmhouse from nearby Naroor village reached there and requested for his release, she was also beaten up by village women.
Rajesh was taken to a nearby health centre from where he was shifted to the Hoshiarpur civil hospital. After receiving information, civil and police officials reached the spot and asked the villagers to release Gunraj but they refused to do so saying he had been “terrorising them for long”. “We want to teach him a lesson. We are afraid that no police action will be taken against him as he comes from an influential family,” the villagers said.
Later on, SP ( detective) Jagmohan Singh intervened and secured his release. The police impounded his double-barrel gun and SUV (Mahindra Bolero).
A case under Section 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (attack with dangerous weapon) of the IPC and Arms Act was registered against Gunraj, Mukhtiar Singh and four others on the statement of Rajesh’s brother Balwinder Singh.