A 24-year-old local Akali leader was allegedly shot dead after an argument in Punjab’s Batala, an incident described as ‘political killing’ by the SAD.
According to police, the incident took place on Sunday evening at Chak Kulian village when victim Manjot Singh and his two friends tried to stop Joginder Singh from filling a pond with sand.
The issue led to an altercation between Manjot and Joginder.
In the meantime, Joginder’s son Gurdeep Singh brought a pistol from his home and allegedly fired at Manjot and his friends, a relative of the victim alleged.
Local Akali leader Ravi Karan Singh Kahlon alleged that Gurdeep is a Congress worker. Gurdeep is also an advocate by profession.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Balbir Singh ruled out any political motive behind the killing.
The victim’s friends– Lovedeep Singh (35) and Arshpreet Singh (18)–too sustained bullet injuries, police said.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal condemned the murder, alleging that “political killings” continue unabated in Punjab even during the coronavirus lockdown.
Badal said in a statement that Batala continued to remain the “vortex of political killings”, recalling the murder of Dhilwan sarpanch Dalbir Singh last year. He said like the earlier case, the Batala police this time too “failed” to move quickly and arrest the accused even though they have been identified them.
Badal demanded immediate arrest of all those associated with the murder. Badal asked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to “rein in” the Congressmen who were “taking the law in their hands to settle political scores”.
Batala Senior Superintendent of Police Opinderjit Singh Ghuman said a case has been registered against Gurdeep Singh, Joginder Singh and three others under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and the Arms Act. No arrest has been made so far, police said.