Ludhiana shooting: Sena bid to force shutdown triggers tension

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh/Ludhiana
  • Updated: Feb 05, 2016 09:39 IST
Police personnel deployed during a protest at Chaura Bazaar in Ludhiana on Thursday. (HT Photo )

Tension mounted in Ludhiana on Thursday after shopkeepers resisted Shiv Sena Punjab’s attempt to force a shutdown, protesting against the murderous attack on saffron outfit’s youth wing president Amit Arora.

No arrest has been made in this case so far—the second shooting in over two weeks in Ludhiana—even as the police launched a multi-pronged probe to gather vital clues and crack the conspiracy that has the potential to vitiate communal harmony.

On Wednesday night, two men on motorcycle had shot at Arora (35) near Basti Jodhewal Chowk while he was driving. The bullet hit Arora in the neck but now he is reported to be out of danger. “During the shooting, a security officer was with Arora,” police sources have said.

On January 18, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist Naresh Kumar had a lucky escape when some motorcyclists opened fire on him at Shaheedi Park locality of Kidwai Nagar area during the morning drill of the RSS. That case is still unsolved.

Apparently, concern over two attacks in as many weeks brought director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora to Ludhiana on Thursday. Forensic experts from Punjab Police Academy (PPA), Phillaur, collected samples from the scene of crime to know the distance and the weapon from which the bullet had been fired.

Police sources say the Ghanauli group of Shiv Sena Punjab had on January 26 reported a provocative bill stuck to the outer wall of its office in Sector 32, Ludhiana. Prepared purportedly on the letter head of a pro-Khalistan outfit, it listed eight Sena activists as prime targets. “A few days ago, a militant outfit had threatened us and we had lodged a complaint with the police,” said Shiv Sena Punjab chairman Rajiv Tandon.

On Thursday, from Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), where Arora is admitted, a protest march moved to Chaura Bazaar, where the Sena raised slogans against Khalistan and blamed Sikh hardliners for the attack. As it tried to force a shutdown over the latest attack and the shopkeepers resisted, it led to a heated argument and police had to intervene. The shops remained open.

Youth Akali Dal (YAD) leader and Akalgarh shopkeepers association head Gurdeep Singh Gosha condemned “hooliganism by the Shiv Sena in the old city”. “What is the fault of shopkeepers of Chaura Bazaar in the crime that happened in another part of the city?” said Chaura Bazaar Market Association chairman Somnath Grover.

Shiv Sena Punjab chairman Rajiv Tandon said the protest would continue, if the police did not solve the case by Sunday. Over this, the Sena men had a meeting with police commissioner PS Umranangal, who said there was no headway yet.

Capt flays attack

Chandigarh: Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh has condemned the attack on the Shiv Sena Punjab youth wing president. “Some people are trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in an election year to reap electoral harvest out of communal polarisation,” he said, adding: “We may strongly differ with the ideology of the RSS and Shiv Sena but we condemn any act of violence against anyone.”

Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma visited Amit Arora in hospital and asked police to find out people behind the attacks on the RSS and Shiv Sena leaders.

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