TWO DAYS after the triple murders at Gurdwara Ramsar of village Mallan in Muktsar district, the police have rounded up eight persons for questioning. However, no arrests have been made yet in the case. Some claiming to be supporters of Nihang Naib Singh, one of the murder victims, had come to the Ramsar gurdwara Friday but were denied entry by the police personnel on duty.
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Naib’s supporters had put a banner outside the gurdwara two days ago, claiming that the gurdwara, governed by religious body Budha Dal, was “under his control.” Jagjit Singh, a police officer, said,”Some persons claiming to be supporters of Naib Singh had come but we did not let them go inside the gurdwara and instead asked them to bring permission from higher authorities in our department. They left and did not come back.”
Muktsar SSP SS Gill said, “We are likely to get leads from interrogation of the eight people we have rounded up. Meanwhile, the family of Naib Singh had asked for police security. Gurdev Singh, elder brother of Naib Singh said, “We fear that we may also be attacked as no arrests have been made so far and two days have passed. The police should act tough, and swiftly.”
Jassa Singh, aide of Baba Balbir Singh, head of Budha Dal, said, “Even we feel threatened because in 2007 also, four of Babaji’s family had been murdered.”
SSP Gill said, “We have provided extra security outside the house of Naib Singh in the house and police will remain extra vigilant. Extra security cover has been deployed in the whole village looking at the tense situation.
Baba Budha Dal has two factions – one headed by Surjit Singh and another headed by Balbir Singh. And the gurdwara in question was being controlled by Makhan Singh who was supporter of Surjit Singh, revealed the family of Naib Singh.
Hence it was a tussle between two factions of Budha Dal over control of the gurdwara and interestingly, Makhan Singh who had got himself admitted in Doda health centre with a complaint that he had been “beaten up” by Naib Singh and thrown out of gurdwara on October 18, has also disappeared from the scene. He had left the hospital against medical advice on October 19, soon after the clash.
The village sarpanch Balkaran Singh alleged, “There were many complaints against Makhan Singh and hence, the panchayat also wanted him to be replaced. But Naib Singh should have taken the panchayat into confidence before forcibly entering gurdwara and turning Makhan Singh out.”