RSS leader Ravinder Gosain’s murder in Ludhiana on Tuesday was the seventh such mystery killing in Punjab in the past two years and the second since the Congress government took over. However, none of these killings have been solved yet, despite the CBI probing some of these cases.
While four of these killings happened during the SAD-BJP rule, two occured under the Congress rule. Two followers of Dera Sacha Sauda were shot dead in February this year when the state was awaiting Assembly poll results.
These killings, said to be have been executed with the same modus operandi with two masked persons coming on a motorbike and shooting the targets dead, started with the murder of Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur on April 4, 2016. Two killers on a motorbike even greeted her before shooting her inside her palatial Namdhari sect dera headquarters at Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana. The investigation is now under CBI. Before the murder of Chand Kaur, there was firing outside RSS shakha in Kidwai Nagar of Ludhiana on January 18 last year. The police are yet to solve this case as well. Later, on April 23 last year, Shiv Sena labour wing leader Durga Prasad Gupta was shot dead in Ludhiana’s Khanna district. SSP (Khanna) Navjot Singh Mahal said the case is still “under investigation by the SIT”.
Following Gupta’s murder, another senior RSS leader Jagdish Gagneja was shot dead at a busy chowk in Jalandhar on August 6 and again the two killers had come on a bike. He died on September 22 at DMCH in Ludhiana after battling for life for more than a month. The case is now being probed by the CBI.
Then in 2017, the district president (zila pracharak) of Sri Hindu Takht, Amit Sharma (35), was shot dead near Durga Mata Mandir on Guru Nanak Stadium Road in Ludhiana on January 14. Just like the previous few cases, two persons on a motorbike had come and shot him dead. The case is yet to be solved.
Following Sharma’s murder, between Punjab Assembly polls and its results, two Dera Sacha Sauda followers were shot dead at a dera canteen in Khanna’s Jaghera village on February 25. The dera followers — Satpal Sharma and his son Ramesh — were again shot dead by two masked men on a motorcycle. “The case is being probed by a special investigating team,” said Khanna SSP Navjot Mahal. In a first since the Congress government came to power, a church pastor, Sultan Masih, was shot dead on July 15 this year. He was standing outside his residence in Salem Tabri area of Ludhiana when two masked men on a motorbike shot him dead. The case is yet to be solved. The killing of Gosain is the seventh such killing in the state and the second one under the current government.