A 28-YEAR-OLD kabbadi player was shot dead by six assailants — five policemen and a civilian — at his native village Bhagwanpur in Batala on Sunday evening.
Gurmej Singh was the son of former Akali sarpanch Amrik Singh. Batala police claimed it was a case of road rage and all the accused were drunk. His family however has that it was a “pre-planned murder due to old rivalry”.
This is the second time a kabaddi player has been murdered — with the accused being a policeman — in the last four months. On May 9, ASI Paramjit Singh had allegedly shot dead kabbadi player Arvinder Jeet Singh Padda in Kapurthala.
Sunday’s incident took place at 6.45 pm. Amritsar traffic police ASIs Ranjit Singh and Baljit Singh, head constables Avtar Singh and Balkar Singh, who are gunmen with ADGP (retd) Parampal Singh Sidhu, Surinder Singh, a security personnel deployed with the Punjab CM’s security, and civilian Simrat Singh were booked under sections 302 (murder), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC and 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act.
“The accused had two cars. Four were in one car and two were in another. They all were drunk. Excise Inspector Amarit Kaur was driving ahead of the accused. She was going to her village Bhagwanpur and the road was narrow. Accused wanted her to give them way. As soon as she entered Bhagwanpur, the accused stopped their car and got out. They started attacking her car. Some villagers as well as Gurmej rushed to the spot. Amarit Kaur is the wife of Gurmej’s cousin. There was some alteration between the accused and Gurmej, and then Baljit Singh fired a shot with his licensed pistol. Gurmej died on the spot. We arrested all accused,” said SSP Batala Rachpal Singh.
“The accused were returning from some function and were drunk. We have recovered weapons from them. We will conduct their medical examination,” he added.
However, the family has a different story to tell.
“We were returning from a function from Batala. Gurmej was with me in the car. Amrit Kaur was driving the car. At around 6.40 pm, the accused blocked our path on the village road. They came in two cars. Six persons came out of these two cars and they started hurling abuses at my son Gurmej. They started attacking our car. Then Baljit Singh shot at my son. He died on the way to hospital,” said Gurmej’s father Amrik Singh, in his statement to the police on which case was registered.
“My son and I had gone to Batala a few months back when we had a small accident with a bike. The bike belonged to Balkar Singh. We had a small alteration after the accident. The accused attacked us to take revenge. Old rivalry is the reason behind the murder,” Amrik claimed.
“My son went to Canada and Australia to play kabbadi in the past. He left behind a son and wife. Our family has been destroyed by these policemen,” said Amrik.
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