Four BJP workers were injured, including one critically, in a firing during the pre-birthday party of local leader Sahdev Salaria, an aide of Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, at a restaurant-cum-disc in Sector 26 here on Monday midnight. Chandigarh Police arrested the owner of F Bar, Gurkaran Singh, a resident of Sector 22, on Tuesday for allegedly destroying evidences of the firing in his disc.
Salaria’s birthday is on November 20 and the pre-birthday party was going on in the basement of F-bar when five other BJP workers, who recently joined the party, allegedly fired shots under the influence of alcohol.
The injured have been identified as Jaideep Singh, who also owns a restaurant, Yogeshwar Bhagat (25), Pankaj Jhakar (25) and Deepak Kundu (24). Singh, a former president of S D College Union, received bullet injuries in his stomach, while Bhagat in his leg. Jhakar and Kundu received injuries as they were hit by pistol butts. Kundu was able to record his statement and an FIR was registered on its basis.
Apart from Kundu, three others were taken to GMCH-32. Later, injured Singh was referred to a private hospital in Sector 21, Panchkula. On Tuesday, he was referred to Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research.
Sector 26 police have lodged an FIR against the five other BJP workers, identified as Chetan Munjal, Rinku, Arjun and Rohit, alias Rimy, both sons of police officers, and Rajesh Paswan for attempt to murder and under Arms Act. Arrested F Bar owner will be produced in the district courts-43 on Wednesday. Police sources said instead of informing the police about the firing, he closed the disc and cleaned the floor. “Even when a police party reached the spot, he was reluctant to instruct his employees to open the F Bar.”
Police sources added three bullets were fired by Munjal, a resident of Sector 49, and Rinku of Dadumajra village in Sector 38. Two empty shells and one misfired bullet were recovered from the spot.
All five accused have criminal background. They joined the BJP on November 5 in the presence of MP Kher.
MP Kher confirmed Salaria works with her, however, declined to comment on the criminal background of the five new members. “Salaria helps me look after the constituency. He is not my political adviser. Yes, there was a disturbing incident. And please talk to him,” said the MP when asked about the firing.
On the criminal background of the accused BJP workers, she said, “Please speak to the people concerned. Only they will know the whole story. I do not want to make any wrong comment.”
The birthday party of Salaria, who is associated with MP Kher since 2014, was also attended by Mayor Davesh Moudgil and BJP Councillors Kanwarjit Singh Rana, Anil Dubey, Sat Prakash Aggarwal, Mahesh Inder Singh Sidhu, Satish Kainth, besides an independent Councillor Dalip Kumar.
Mayor Moudgil and Councillor Dube maintained that they had left the venue before the incident.
Interestingly, police received the information when three injured were being taken to GMCH-32 and a telephonic message was send to Sector 26 police station from F-bar at 1.05 am. When two police parties rushed to the F-bar in Sector 26, it was closed. The police officers then called one of the managers of the F-bar to open the restaurant-cum-disc.
Sector 26 police station is merely 50 metres away from F-bar. A private security guard with another restaurant in Sector 26 said there was no PCR vehicle or foot patrolling by the local police in this area.
A police officer said the incident happened when Salaria was about to cut his birthday cake around 12. “The party venue was booked by Salaria. We were even informed by the F-bar management that the party organiser had instructed them not to frisk any invitee at the time of entry in the bar,” said the officer.
Salaria, a native of Pathankot, however, said he had left the venue much before the incident occurred. “I only came to know about it today (Tuesday) early morning. I met all the injured persons. I talked to senior police officers who assured me that the assailants will be arrested shortly. I have no clue about the criminal background of the five party workers who were named in the FIR. They joined the party recently. I know Munjal, who is the son of a RSS worker, personally,” said Salaria.
Police sources said accused Munjal has been associated with the members of Lawrence Bishnoi and Sampat Nehra gang. He was arrested in 2011 in an attempt to murder case, along with Parminder Singh Perry. Later, he got acquitted. Accused Jhakar was arrested, along with Nehra, in a carjacking case in 2016 in Panchkula. The case is under trial. Kundu was involved in a firing incident of March 2017, in which gangster Nehra was also involved. Paswan was involved in several cases of gambling.
F-bar management, meanwhile on the instructions of local police, has closed entry in the restaurant-cum-disc, even the media persons are not being allowed.
Inspector Poonam Dilawari, Station House Officer of Sector 26 police station, and DSP, East, Harjeet Kaur, inspected the spot Tuesday.
Congress demands probe by sitting HC judge Slamming the BJP leadership on the firing incident, Congress accused Chandigarh Police of destroying evidences, including CCTV footage, which can prove the presence of several BJP leaders in the birthday party. Pardeep Chabra, President of Chandigarh Congress, said if action is not taken against the BJP leaders, a protest will be staged outside police headquarters, Sector 9, in coming days. “The incident should be investigated by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.”