Two days after the murder of senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former Barnala MLA Malkit Singh Keetu, the alleged killers, including three of Keetu's nephews, remain at large. Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal met Keetu's family on Wednesday and promised swift action.
Keetu was gunned down on October 29 outside his house in his native village Bilaspur near here, allegedly by his nephews and two others who have been booked for the murder.
Moga senior superintendent of police Surjit Singh Grewal said more than 20 people had so far been detained for questioning. "We have constituted five special teams to nab the killers. We had received information on Monday evening that the culprits might have fled to other states. We have sent our men to Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh," he added. "Our first priority is to nab Keetu's nephews Gurpreet Singh, Harpreet Singh and Jaspreet Singh."
The other two named in the FIR are Kala Singh alias Angrej of Deepgarh village (Barnala) and Ladi Singh of Bilaspur.
Meanwhile, Sukhbir visited Keetu's family on Wednesday afternoon to express condolences. He held a closed-door meeting with additional director general of police (ADGP), law and order, SK Sharma and senior civil and police officers of the district, who briefed him about the progress in the case.
Speaking to the media after meeting Keetu's wife Gurdeep Kaur and son Kulwant Singh, he said the police were working on specific clues and the accused would be nabbed soon.
Sukhbir said Keetu was a grassroots-level, dedicated worker of the Akali Dal who contributed a lot in strengthening the base of the party. He said Keetu's family would get all possible support from the SAD.
Keetu's son Kulwant later said the family had full faith in the police.
Though the police have mentioned in the FIR that a property dispute led to the murder of former MLA Keetum, a different story seems to be emerging now. Sources said that a few days ago, some people had complained to the higher police officials and senior SAD leaders that they had been booked in false rape cases in Barnala district on Keetu's behest. Those people and their allegations are now the fulcrum of the investigation trail, confided officials.