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Ludhiana again, bike-borne men gun down RSS leader Ravinder Gosain

Shocking: 2 bullets pumped into Ravinder Gosain from point-blank range near his house; 7th attack in series of targeted killings in 2 yrs, assailants caught on camera.

punjab Updated: Oct 18, 2017 09:18 IST
Tarsem Singh Deogan
Tarsem Singh Deogan
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Ludhiana again,bike-borne men,RSS leader
Police officials near the body of the RSS leader Ravinder Gosain (right) after he was gunned down outside his house in Ludhiana on Tuesday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Two masked men on a motorcycle shot dead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Ravinder Gosain, 60, outside his house in Kailash Nagar locality of Basti Jodhewal in Ludhiana on Tuesday morning.

Gosain, mukhya shikshak (chief instructor) of Raghunath Nagar Mohan Shakha of the RSS, had just returned home after attending a morning drill when he was attacked, the police officials said. The unidentified miscreants pumped two bullets into him from point blank range, hitting Gosain in his head and back. They fled the spot, leaving him in a pool of blood.

Tuesday’s incident is the latest in a series of targeted murders in the state in two years that have remained a mystery. There have been eight killings of right wing and other religious leaders, suspected to be aimed at creating 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.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh, who was at Hussainiwala in Ferozepur for an official function, spoke to chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh there, raising concern over the RSS leader’s killing. “Captain assured the home minister that the attackers would be put behind bars very soon,” said BJP leader Kamal Sharma.

Ravinder Gosain. ( HT File )

At 7.20 am on Tuesday, Gosain came out of his house in Gagandeep Colony with his seven-year-old grandson Daksh and five-year-old granddaughter Deeksha to feed stray dogs. The two miscreants, who were riding a yellow motorcycle with their faces covered with cloth, asked Gosain to look at them and as he turned towards them, they opened fire. Both grandchildren witnessed the murder. Daksh rushed inside the house, raising an alarm, and alerted family members.

Clueless cops, unsolved cases
  • April 3, 2016: Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur shot dead at Bhaini Sahib near Ludhiana
  • April 23, 2016: Shiv Sena leader Durga Prasad Gupta shot dead in Khanna
  • August 6, 2016: RSS leader Brig Jagdish Gagneja (retd) shot dead in Jalandhar
  • February 25, 2017: Dera Sacha Sauda follower Satpal Sharma and son Ramesh killed on Ludhiana-Malerkotla road
  • January 14: Shri Hindu Takht district president Amit Sharma shot dead in Ludhiana
  • June 15: Pastor Sultan Masih killed in Ludhiana

Deepak, elder son of RSS leader, said he was in the room near the main gate of the house and heard the gunshot, but assumed that someone had burst a cracker. On seeing Daksh raise an alarm, he rushed outside and found the dead body of his father. Deepak said he was clueless about the motive behind the murder. The autopsy revealed that the assailants had used two weapons. The doctors found two bullets of .30 and .32 bore from the body.

Ludhiana police commissioner RN Dhoke said that CCTVs installed near the spot had captured the masked assailants on a Honda Stunner bike. “The number plate of the vehicle has been captured in CCTV footage, but is not clear. The modus operandi is the same as in pastor Sultan Masih’s killing in July, but it is too early to say anything for sure,” he said. Later, the police released the pictures. A special investigation team (SIT) has been set up to probe the crime.

Yash Giri, zonal general secretary of the RSS, while condemning the incident termed it a “targeted” killing. “The victim was in Sangh uniform when the miscreants attacked him,” he said, adding that it was a police failure. After an attack on RSS leader Naresh Kumar in January 2016, the police were asked to provide security at all shakhas but to no avail.

Punjab BJP president and Union minister Vijay Sampla, who present at the cremation, alleged that the killing proved that the law and order situation had deteriorated in the state. “His murder is reminiscent of the black days of terrorism,” he said while seeking security for RSS and BJP leaders. BJP and RSS workers also raised slogans against police and Congress government during cremation.

Later, BJP workers also staged a protest at the police commissioner’s office, demanding that the accused be arrested. Other opposition parties, the SAD and the AAP, also condemned the killing.

First Published: Oct 18, 2017 09:18 IST