The killing of RSS leader Ravinder Gosain in Ludhiana on Tuesday was one in a series of high-profile murderous attacks on activists belonging to religious or right wing organisations that Punjab has witnessed in recent times. Two unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants shot dead 60-year-old Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leader Gosain in the Kailash Nagar locality in Ludhiana, the police said.
Gosain was returning home after attending a morning drill (RSS shakha) when he was attacked, they said. He died on the spot while the attackers fled, according to police officials. The crime was the eighth such incident in the state since 2016.
In June this year, a pastor, Sultan Masih, was shot dead by two motorcycle borne persons at the Peerubanda Mohalla in Ludhiana. The assailants fired multiple shots at the pastor, killing him on the spot. On the evening of February 25, two unidentified gunmen shot dead two Dera Sacha Sauda followers –Satpal (65) and his son Ramesh Kumar (35) when they were working at the sect’s canteen at Jagera village, about 55 km from Ludhiana.
The duo were shot in their heads from close range. On January 14 this year, two unidentified motorcycle borne assailants shot dead the leader of an organisation called ‘Hindu Takhat’, Amit Sharma, near the Durga Mata Mandir in Ludhiana.
Last year, on August 6, RSS leader Brig Jagdish Gagneja (Retd) was shot at in Jalandhar. He later died at the DMC hospital in Ludhiana. This incident led to question marks being raised over the law and order situation under the previous SAD-BJP regime. When Punjab Police failed to crack the case, it was handed over to the CBI by the then Parkash Singh Badal led government.
In May 2016, a Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale was attacked as some youths opened indiscriminate fire at his cavalcade in Ludhiana. Though Dhadrianwale had a miracle escape, an aide died in the attack.
In the month of April, Durga Prasad Gupta, chief of the Shiv Sena’s labour wing in Punjab was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants at Khanna near Ludhana. 85-year-old Mata Chand Kaur, wife of late chief of the Namdhari sect Satguru Jagjit Singh, was also shot dead by bike-borne assailants at Bhaini Sahib complex near Ludhiana in April month last year.
The previous dispensation handed over the high-profile murder case of Mata Chand Kaur to CBI. In January 2016, RSS volunteer Naresh Kumar was attacked in Ludhiana when bike-borne unidentified persons opened fire at him. However, he escaped unhurt.