Less than 48 hours after the gruesome murder of a Dalit youth in Mansa, alleged members of the liquor mafia on Wednesday night stabbed a 28-year-old Jalandhar man — who had opposed the sale of alcohol in his locality— to death.
Armed with sharp-edged weapons, the accused chased the victim, identified as Manish Luthra, for more than 500 metres and then stabbed him several times in the abdomen at Janak Nagar. Manish was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries around 4 am.
As per the complaint of victim’s father Raj Kumar, Manish stepped out of his house near the Ramlila Ground in Basti Sheikh Bazar around 11 pm to meet his friends. Kumar said the moment Manish moved out, the latter was overpowered by local ‘liquor smuggler’ Ujagar Singh, his son Gaurav, brother-in-law Pawan and others. He said Ujagar was nursing a grudge against Manish who had objected to his illegal liquor trade in the area. Kumar said he saw his son being brutally attacked by the accused with sharp-edged weapons. “Manish tried to run away to save his life but they chased him and then stabbed him,” said Kumar.
Police have registered a first information report (FIR) under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code against Ujagar and his family members.
The body was handed over to the family after autopsy.
Ujagar, who is facing liquor and drug smuggling cases, is said to have links with leaders of the ruling regime. Apart from politicians, cops, too, can be seen visiting Ujagar’s house, allege residents. On Monday, a 20-year-old Dalit youth was allegedly abducted and killed by a rival group of liquor smugglers, who also chopped off one of his legs, in Mansa.
Hitting out at the Badal government, the Congress said there was complete breakdown of the law and order machinery in the state under the Akali rule. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Gurpreet Singh Waraich said: “It seems mafias — be it liquor, sand, land, cable or transport — are virtually ruling the state. Police are too scared to do anything as the rackets are run under the patronage of Akali leaders.”