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Gunmen kill Congress councillor at Amritsar wrestling arena, fire 17 shots

Congress leader Pehlwan Gurdeep Singh was taking a shower after finishing his exercise at the wrestling arena when the assailants barged into the bathroom and shot at him, in Amritsar on Saturday.

punjab Updated: Jun 03, 2018 07:52 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Congress councillor,Amritsar,Pehlwan Gurdeep Singh
Supporters gather outside the hospital where Congress councillor Gurdeep Singh was brought, in Amritsar.(Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

Three unidentified men gunned down a sitting Congress councillor at a wrestling arena in the busy Gol Bagh area of the city on Saturday.

The incident took place at 7.15 pm, hours after state police chief Suresh Arora expressed ‘satisfaction’ over security measures taken by Amritsar police in wake of the June 6 Operation Bluestar anniversary.

Pehlwan Gurdeep Singh, 42, councillor of ward number 50, was taking a shower after finishing his exercise when the assailants, with their faces covered, barged into the bathroom and pumped bullets into his body.

Amritsar police commissioner SS Srivastva rushed to the spot along with additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) Lakhbir Singh and other senior officials.

“Before fleeing the arena, the accused also opened fire in the air. As many 17 shots were fired,” ADCP Lakhbir Singh said. He said Gurdeep was taken to a nearby private hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. He said the body has been shifted to the civil hospital for autopsy.

The ADCP said a case under section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code and 25-54-59 of the Arms Act has been being registered against unidentified persons at the Civil Lines police station. “We are closely studying the CCTV footage of the area and will trace the assailants soon,” he added.

The incident comes in the wake of the police claimed to have deployed more than 3,200 cops, besides three companies of paramilitary forces, in the holy city ahead of the Bluestar anniversary. DGP Arora had visited the city earlier in the day to review the security arrangements. He left the city around 4 pm.

Former BJP minister Lakshmi Kanta Chawla said the gruesome murder has raised questions about the functioning of the police.

The ward falls in Amritsar central constituency that belongs to education minister OP Soni. Speaking to reporters outside the hospital where Gurdeep was brought, Soni flayed the functioning of the police. “Despite heavy security in the city, the killing of a Congress councillor shows the utter failure of the police,” he added.

First Published: Jun 02, 2018 23:49 IST