National-level hockey player, friend shot dead in Patiala
A national-level hockey player, Amrik Singh, and his friend Simranjit Singh were shot dead by unidentified assailants after an argument at a dhaba (roadside eatery) near Phatak Number 24 in Patiala on Wednesday night. Both were employees of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
The incident took place around 10.30pm when Amrik Singh, who has played for Punjab, and Simranjit were having dinner at the dhaba at Pratap Nagar near Phatak Number 24. Police said Amrik and Simranjit got into an argument with the accused over a petty issue following which one of them opened fire from a point blank range. The duo died on the spot and the assailants fled the scene, said the police.
Simranjit was a resident of Partap Nagar and Amrik used to live in Majithia Enclave. Both were in their mid-thirties. People known to the victims said that Amrik received five bullet injuries and Simranjit was shot in the head. Both used to play volleyball near Mata Gurji College from 6 to 10pm, they said.
The incident came to light when Simranjit did not return home and his father Darshan Singh went out to search him. He spotted Simranjit’s motorcycle near the college and the bodies outside the dhaba. The police were informed around 10.45pm.
A case under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian penal Code (IPC) and 27, 25 and 54 of the Arms Act has been registered against two unidentified assailants at the Civil Lines police station, said station house officer Rahul Kaushal.
Deputy superintendent of police (DSP investigation) Krishan Kumar said: “As of now, we have registered a case against unidentified persons. But we have zeroed in on a person named Manoj, who is a regular visitor to the dhaba.”
Amrik’s coach Rupinder Singh said he joined the PSPCL in 2005 and represented Punjab at the national-level. “Amrik was part of the team that won gold in a national-level tournament held in Gujarat from February 5 to 9,” he said.
Amrik is survived by his wife, son and mother. His wife is a block development and panchayat officer at Malerkotla-2.