Activists of the Hindu Shiv Sena blocked the highway on Friday after the national president of the outfit was killed when the Tata Safari he was travelling in collided with a truck at Mahalo village on the Nawanshahr-Chandigarh highway early morning.
The victim, Abhishek Batta (39), accompanied by Ritu of Model Town in Phagwara, was going to his hometown in the SUV (PB02-AD-0040) when a truck carrying cement bags coming from the opposite side collided with their vehicle.
The accident took place near a petrol pump around 4am. Ritu was admitted to a hospital after she sustained serious injuries.
Batta’s brother Shiv Batta said the victim had been receiving threats from terror outfits and they had also lodged complaints with the Kapurthala senior superintendent of police (SSP) in this regard.
He alleged that members of a pro-Khalistan outfit had threatened to eliminate his brother on Holi. While the police were trying to make it a simple accident case, it was well-planned conspiracy, he claimed.
The deceased had two security guards as provided by the police, but none of them was in the vehicle at the time of accident.
A case under section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against the truck driver, Gursatnam Singh, a resident of Tarn Taran, was registered. The truck driver was arrested later.
Commuters thrashed, Sikh outfits call meeting
The protesters blocked the for more than an hour and senior superintendents of police (SSPs) of SBS Nagar, Kapurthala and Jalandhar (rural) and districts rushed to the spot to pacify them.
SBS Nagar SSP Snehdeep Sharma, Kapurthala SSP Rajinder Singh and Jalandhar rural SSP Harmohan Singh Sandhu arrived with their teams.
The protest resulted in a heavy vehicular jam on the highway.
The situation turned tense when some Sena workers beat up a Mohali-based man, Jaswinder Singh, who was going to the Golden Temple in his car after he was allegedly spotted making a video of the protesters with his mobile phone.
Jaswinder’s turban got pulled off in the scuffle. The protesters also entered into a scuffle with a couple of other men also.
Later, the police took Jaswinder to the police station. The police have not registered any case against Shiv Sena workers claiming that no complaint was made by jaswinder.
Local Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member Gurbax Singh Khalsa condemned the incident and demanded action against those responsible.
Some local Sikh organisations have called a meeting on Saturday in this regard.