Killings of religious leaders interconnected: Punjab DGP Suresh Arora

Police Commemoration Day: Rules out revival of terrorism in state, pays tributes to police martyrs

punjab Updated: Oct 22, 2017 08:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
Killings of religious leaders,murders in Punajb,Punjab DGP
DGP Suresh Arora laying a wreath at the war memorial during the 58th Police Commemoration Day in Jalandhar on Saturday. (Pardeep Pandit/HT)

Punjab director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora said the killings of Hindu and other religious leaders in the past two years are interconnected.

Referring to the recent murder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Ravinder Gosain, who was gunned down by two motorcycle-borne masked men in Ludhiana on October 18, the DGP said: Initial investigations have revealed that the modus operandi of the killers is the same in three cases — murder of senior RSS leaders Ravinder Gosian in Ludhiana, Jagdish Gagneja in Jalandhar and pastor Sultan Masih in Ludhiana, said the DGP. However, it was different in the case of Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur, who was shot dead by two unidentified assailants at the Bhaini Sahib Gurdwara complex near Ludhiana on April 2016,” he added.

Eight killings in two years: Religious leaders the target in Punjab

In the past two years, Punjab has seen eight killings of right-wing and other religious leaders, suspected to be aimed at creating a communal rift in the state. Almost all of them were shot by two unidentified, bike-borne persons.

However, the police have failed to make any headway in any of these cases and some cases have also been transferred to the CBI for investigation. Gosian’s case has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). “This would help in unifying the investigation being carried out by the security agencies. We will extend full support to the NIA,” the DGP said.

Relatives offering tributes to martyrs in Amritsar and Jalandhar. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Interacting with the media after presiding over a function to mark 58th Police Commemoration Day at the PAP stadium here, the DGP ruled out the possibility of revival of terrorism in the state.

“People understand that terrorism was not in the interest of the state so they would never support any such action,” DGP said. He also laid the wreath at the martyrs’ memorial on the PAP campus. Addressing martyrs’ families, Arora said that since 1981, 2,719 police personnel had laid down their lives in various anti-terrorism and other operations in Punjab. DGP also hailed chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s decision to restore the special family pension of the cops martyred during operations against terrorism.

First Published: Oct 22, 2017 08:59 IST