An 80-year-old man and his 45-year-old son were shot dead at Rukne Shah Wala village in Ferozepur in the early hours of Tuesday. The police identified the deceased as Harnam Singh (80) and Joginder Singh Bubby (45), father and brother of SAD senior vice-president (Ferozepur district) Balwinder Singh Rukne Shah Wala. Balwinder also suffered injuries in the firing.
The police suspect that a Congress worker, Lakhwinder Singh Lakha, and his friend, Sukhwinder Singh, are behind the crime. Lakhwinder and Balwinder are political rivals but relatives as well, the police said. They suspect that the murder was the fallout of a power struggle between the two. Balwinder used to discharge the duties of village sarpanch but after the Congress government took over in the state, Lakhwinder wanted to take over. Sources said although the village has a woman sarpanch, it was Balwinder who was calling the shots. This led to heated arguments that culminated in the murder outside Balwinder’s residence, the police said. Lakhwinder and Sukhwinder were booked under murder charges and are absconding. Kin of the deceased have refused to get post-mortem of the deceased done.
“They have said they will agree to post-mortem examination or cremate the bodies until the culprits are nabbed,” said Joginder Singh Jindu, former SAD MLA from Ferozepur (Rural).
Jindu alleged, “SAD will stage protests if the culprits are not arrested soon.”
Ferozepur SSP Gaurav Garg said, “The issue was over the control of sarpanch duties, it is also a fallout of old rivalry. A search is on for the two suspects.”