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2 cops among 3 injured in firing as Cong, Akali workers clash

The incident took place outside the Patti sub-divisional magistrate (SDM)’s office in the district.

punjab Updated: Sep 08, 2018 09:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Tarn Taran/Moga/Batala
zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections,Shiromani Akali Dal,Punjab panchayat poll
Patti deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Sohan Singh has put the number of injured in the clash at 16.(HT Photo)

Three persons, including a station house officer (SHO) and another policeman, suffered gunshot wounds while several others were injured on Friday in violent clashes between workers of political parties on the last day of filing nomination papers for the panchayat elections in the state.

The two policemen, Patti station house officer (SHO) Rajesh Kakkar and head constable Mukhtyar Singh, the gunman of Tarn Taran superintendent of police (SP investigation) Tilak Raj, were injured in firing between the alleged supporters of the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) outside the Patti sub-divisional magistrate (SDM)’s office in the district.

Several others were injured in the clash.

Violence broke out when slogan-shouting workers of the two parties confronted each other and gunshots were fired. Patti deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Sohan Singh put the number of injured at 16.

SHO Kakkar said a case was registered against 24 persons by name and 15 unidentified people, all associated with SAD, under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Arms Act.

Patti MLA Harminder Singh Gill claimed that some of the injured who were serious were referred to a private hospital in Amritsar.

2 journalists attacked

In another incident, two journalists were allegedly attacked by the Congress workers.

The DSP said a case was registered against 20 persons, including Dalbir Singh Sekhon, Jyoti Sekhon and Harman Sekhon, under section 295-A, 379-B, 506, 323, 148, 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for attacking the journalists.

Another clash was reported from Tarn Taran city where Akali leader and former municipal council president Bhupinder Singh Khera was beaten up by supporters of the ruling party outside the SDM’s office following a heated argument over poll papers. SAD workers allegedly opened fire. However, no one was injured.

Similar clashes between the workers of the two parties were reported from other areas. At Dharamkot in Moga district, Congress worker Simerjit Singh, resident of Datewal village, received bullet injury. The clash occurred when SAD workers were going for filing of nomination papers and the Congress supporters started shouting slogans against them over the desecration cases. They pelted stones at each other followed by firing by an Akali supporter. Both the accused and the victim are from the same village.

Randhawa’s brother hurt in stone-pelting

In Batala, cabinet minister Sukhjinder Randhawa’s brother and Akali leader Inderjeet Singh Randhawa and about a dozen party workers were injured in alleged stone-pelting by hundreds of Congress supporters.

The fight occurred when the Akalis were going for filing their poll papers but were not allowed to get close to the complex.

SAD, which has accused the ruling Congress of trying to “hijack” the panchayat elections, urged the State Election Commission to extend the date of filing of nomination for zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls. “Our workers were forcibly stopped by the Congress supporters from filing their papers,” SAD senior vice president Daljit Singh Cheema told the commission.

The AAP, in a representation to the commission, also accused the Congress government of misusing the official machinery to gain undue advantage. “There are high changes of rigging, booth capturing and bogus voting by the ruling Congress,” it warned. The elections are scheduled to be held on September 19.

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 22:52 IST