A GROUP of Congress workers allegedly opened fire on a former SAD sarpanch and his son at Kiali Chehlan Wali village under Sardulgarh subdivision in Mansa district late on Wednesday. The sarpanch’s son died on the spot.
A tussle had been going on between Congress and SAD workers over solar plant tender for the past few weeks. Reportedly, the father-son duo was in possession of the tender to clean solar power plant plates in the area and Congress workers were allegedly threatening them to leave the job. Though the victim and his father were allegedly being pressured by Congress workers to give in writing to the administration that they were no longer interested in cleaning solar plants, they refused to give in.
Late on Wednesday, when former SAD sarpanch Prem Singh and his son Sukhwinder Singh were washing solar plants’ plates, a group of Congress workers, led by Gursewak Singh Barn and Jagga Singh, fired at them. The Congress workers were hiding near the solar plant with vehicles and arms. While Sukhwinder, in his twenties, took the bullets in the chest and died on the spot, his father Prem was rushed to Mansa Civil Hospital.
Prem alleged that despite their repeated pleas to the police that he and his business partner Balwinder Binda were being constantly threatened by the suspects on phone, police did not act. He also alleged that the suspects threatened them by taking the name of Bikram Mofar, son of former Congress MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar. Reportedly, the prime suspect in the case, Gursewak Singh Barn, who has been arrested, is said to be a close aide of Bikram Mofar.
Meanwhile, Mansa SSP Parambir Singh Parmar said the SHO of Jhunir police station has been placed under suspension for inaction and callous approach on the complaints of victims. “SHO Chanan Singh of Jhunir police station has been suspended and a departmental enquiry has been initiated against him,” said the SSP.
The police have now booked 12 people, all of them reportedly Congress workers, and eight unidentified persons for murder in the FIR registered at Jhunir PS on the basis of the statement given by Prem. Of the 12 identified suspects, the two arrested are Gursewak and Jagga, who had reportedly hatched the entire conspiracy and led the attack.
Meanwhile, two other suspects named in the FIR alleging cross-firing and showing injuries got themselves admitted at Sardulgarh Civil Hospital. “We will arrest them as soon as they are discharged,” said the SSP.
The current MLA of Sardulgarh is Dilraj Singh Bhunder of SAD. BJP state president Vijay Sampla spoke to he victim’s family on phone on Thursday and demanded immediate arrest of the remaining suspects.