The widow of slain Youth Congress leader Sukhraj Singh Bhagupur on Saturday threatened to stage a dharna outside the residence of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh if the three absconding accused wanted for the murder were not arrested in the next 10 days.
"I along with my two minor children and my aged in-laws and sister-in-law will sit outside the residence of Badal till justice was given to us," Sukhraj's widow Manjinder Kaur said while talking to the media here in the presence of senior Congress leaders of Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts.
So far, the police have arrested Harcharan Singh and his brother Sukhwinder Singh in the case while three others, including prime accused Sarwan Singh who is a brother of the two arrested persons, as well as Randeep Singh and Hardeep Singh, are still at large.
Sukhraj, the Patti block president of the Youth Congress was shot dead on May 8 while coming out of a gurdwara in his native Bhagupur village. He was a Congress candidate in the zila parishad elections. The police had denied that it was a political murder and attributed it to personal enmity.
Pointing a finger at food and civil supplies minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, who is SAD MLA from Patti, Manjinder Kaur said that the Tarn Taran police were "dancing to the tunes of Kairon" and not arresting the absconding accused. She claimed that Sarwan Singh was close to Kairon.
She said that Kairon visited the family to condole her husband's death and assured that all the accused would be behind bars within 24 hours. A month had passed and so far the cops have arrested only two accused, she pointed out.
Six cases against accused brothers since 2009: Cong leader
Patti Congress leader Harminder Singh Gill, who was also present, said that the murder could be attributed to personal enmity but the fact remains that the three brothers dared to carry out this crime as they enjoyed the political patronage of Kairon, the son-in-law of the chief minister. It was due to their allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) that the three brothers did not deposit their licenced weapons with the police ahead of the zila parishad and block samiti polls, he said.
"If the police knew about the personal enmity, it was all the more necessary that the weapons of the three brothers should have been taken away by the police. The police only bothered to ask Sukhraj to deposit his weapon, which he did, and thus became a sitting duck for his enemies," said Gill.
The Congress leader went on to point out that at least six cases had been registered against the three brothers from 2009 onwards, including an attempt-to-murder case. However, the police never bothered to arrest them in any of the cases, he claimed.
Gill declared that if the three absconders were not arrested in the coming 10 days, the Congress leaders of Majha would stage a massive protest after consulting PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa.
Others present included Tarn Taran DCC chief Dharamveer Agnihotri, Amritsar DCC (urban) chief Jugal Kishore Sharma, former MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa, former mayor Sunil Datti, besides Tarsem Singh DC, Lalli Majithia, Gurvinder Singh Mamanke and several others.