Tension prevailed in Faridkot after a Dera Sacha Sauda follower was shot in the head by an unidentified man, who was accompanied by two others, on Monday morning.
Police said Gurdev Singh, 35, was shot in the back of the head by the assailant soon after he opened his grocery shop at 5.30am at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village, 25 km from Faridkot town.
The three men had come in a white Maruti Swift car that did not have a registration number plate. They asked Gurdev for soft drinks, and the moment he turned around to fetch the bottles, one of them shot him in the head.
All three managed to flee. Dilbag Singh, witness and owner of a nearby shop, said he heard a gunshot and came outside his shop.
He saw two men running and getting into the car. The third man was sitting in the car with the ignition on.
The dera follower was rushed to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, where his condition is said to be critical.
Ferozepur range deputy inspector general of police (DIG) RS Khatra said: “On the basis of preliminary investigation, it seems to be a well-planned attack. Police and the forensic team will conduct a thorough investigation.”
Meanwhile, a case has been registered against the unidentified persons under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), on the complaint of Gurdev’s wife, Sarabjeet Kaur.
VILLAGE IS EPICENTRE OF SACRILEGE ROW
Gurdev Singh’s shop is located near the gurdwara from where a ‘bir’ (copy of the holy book) was stolen on June 1 last year. That incident had led to tension in the nearby Bargari village from where torn pages believed to be of the ‘bir’ were found four months later in October. In view of the sensitive situation, senior police officials, including DIG RS Khatra, senior superintendent of police (SSP) SS Maan and SP (detective) AS Sandhu rushed to Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village to take stock of security.