A senior Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leader, Brigadier (retd.) Jagdish Gagneja, was shot at by two motorcycle-borne men Saturday evening. His condition is stated to be critical. Gagneja, RSS prant seh chalak (state vice-president), sustained three bullets, two in stomach and one close to liver, and is admitted in Patel Hospital. His surgery was under way till the filing of this report. On the directions of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal. state Director General of Police Suresh Arora has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under IPS Sahota, ADGP-cum-Director, Bureau of Investigation, to investigate the attack.
Eyewitness Pramod Kanaujia said he was standing on the rooftop of his house when he saw two men on a motorcycle fire at Gagneja who was on foot close to the Red Cross Market near Jyoti Chowk. He said the incident happened around 8.45 pm. Kanaujia said he rushed down and along with two-three persons took the profusely bleeding victim to Satyam Hospital from where he was referred to Patel Hospital . Senior police officers, including Commissioner of Police Arpit Shukla and ADCP-1 Jasbir Singh, rushed to Patel Hospital after getting to know about the incident.
Senior BJP leaders, including C P S KD Bhandari, MLA Manoranjan Kalia, Mayor Sunil Jyoti and local RSS leaders, reached the hospital. It is learnt Gagneja had come to purchase fruits and other things along with his wife, daughter and son-in -law, who were at a distance, when he was shot at. His son, a Major in the Army, is to visit his parents Jalandhar Sunday. RSS state media incharge Ram Gopal, while talking to The Sunday Express, said there was no perceived threat to Gagneja’s life, which is why he did not have any security cover. Gagneja joined the RSS after he had retired from the Army a few years ago. He was appointed state vice-president a year ago.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh
“Peace and communal harmony in the state is the first and foremost priority for me and my government and no one will be allowed to disturb it. This is our sacred duty towards the legacy of our great gurus, saints and seers. The government will continue to follow a policy of zero tolerance against any attempt to disturb the hard-earned harmony in the state.”
Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal
“We have directed the state police chief to ensure maximum vigilance to get to the root of the conspiracy and ensure that no one succeeds in disturbing the atmosphere of peace and communal harmony achieved by Punjabis through countless sacrifices.”
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh
“Such attacks do not portend well for Punjab. These nefarious designs must be nipped in the bud lest they push Punjab into anarchy. People may not agree with the RSS ideology, but in a democracy, everyone has the right to pursue his political and ideological beliefs. Such intimidation is unacceptable. I pray that the injured leader is out of danger.”