Factionalism inside the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was out in the open once again with supporters of two rival groups owing allegiance to Jathedar Tota Singh and Rajvinder Kaur,firing at each other late on Wednesday night.
The incident that took place near village Rania left five injured,three from the Tota Singh group and two from Rajvinder Kaur group. While the injured from Singhs group were referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) Ludhiana,the other two were taken to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital in Faridkot.
Both groups have a 42 year old historyof enmity which has increased of late in the run up to the panchayat polls scheduled for July 3.
Davinder Singh Rania,general secretary of SAD in US and also the brother of Harinder Singh Rania,SGPC member,got severely injured in the firing. Harinders wife Narinder Kaur is contesting the elections for sarpanch from Rania village.
Ajit Pal Singh alias Jagjit,who is supported by Rajvinder Kaur,is also contesting for sarpanch from Rania.
While each group is accusing the other of firing,the police have confirmed that the firing was from both sides.
Davinder Singh Rania,who has bullet injury in both the thighs and is admitted in Ludhiana,said,We were returning to Moga from Rania at around 10.30 p.m. when some 30 people from the other group stopped us. Davinder said,The only provocation for the clash was their continuous defeat. They knew that people of Rania are with us. There was no firing from our side. We were not armed.
Of the other two injured from this group,Surjit Singh received bullet injuries while Mangal Ajit Singh,driver of their vehicle,has sword injuries. They are also admitted in Ludhiana .
On the other hand,Rajvinder Kaur talking to The Indian Express,completely denied ‘any firing by her supporters.
My supporters were not armed at all. My supporters have been severely injured with swords. They are lying, she said.
Darshan Singh,SHO,Badni Kalan police station,said,Bullets were fired from both the sides. We are investigating know how many bullets were fired from both sides.
Will not discuss issue with CM: Tota Singh
Talking to The Indian Express,Tota Singh,MLA Dharamkot,said ‘I will not discuss the issue with Chief Minister. Elections can be fought peacefully and I get really hurt seeing all this happening within SAD.