July 8, 2021 5:16:04 am
Kulbir Singh Naruana, a 39-year-old gangster, who had lately taken up social work, was Wednesday shot dead outside his home in Bathinda’s village Naruana allegedly by an associate with whom he had had a fallout over some issue.
Naruana was facing more than 15 cases and was currently out on bail. The accused, identified as Mandeep Singh, alias Manna, (35), has been arrested. He was taken to hospital after he sustained injury in crossfire.
According to the police, Manna had gone to meet to sort out some differences. Both had tea together and later Manna, called Naruana inside his SUV, where he shot him five times, killing him at the spot. Naruana’s friends tried to stop Manna from driving off. However, Manna ran over one Chamkaur Singh — another accomplice of Naruana — killing him on the spot. One Gurpreet Singh also sustained a bullet injury in the crossfire and is under treatment.
“Manna has been arrested and is in hospital. He has confessed to the crime. He killed Naruana in a spur of the moment, according to his statement. Investigation is on,” said Bhupinderjit Singh Virk, SSP Bathinda. Manna has been booked for murder.
Naruana had over 26 cases against him for murder, attempt to murder, as well as under the Arms Act. However, for the past 3-4 years, he had been trying to change his “public image”. Sources said he used to donate money for marriage of women from poor families and used to help the needy. He was even presented a robe of honour by former minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia in March 2014, when Congress leader Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu had joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). However, in July 2014, he was arrested with illegal weapons, and later released on bail. In January 2015, he was arrested again in a case of firing at a policeman when he was forcibly trying to take possession of a house.
In another incident, he had put red chilli powder in the eyes of policemen at Bathinda Civil Hospital in order to get a convict, Gurwinder Bindu, freed from police custody. “A few cases had been settled while still a number of cases are ongoing,” said a Bathinda police officer.
Manna too has over 18 cases pending against him, said the Bathinda SSP.
Naruana was attacked on a previous occasion as well. On June 21, when he was going towards Malaut, unknown persons had fired at him but he had escaped unhurt as his vehicle was bullet-proof, police said.
Meanwhile, a 15 minutes-long video of Manna has gone viral in which he mentions that Aziz Khan — a Congress member and vice-president of Nagar panchayat of Talwandi Sabo — had threatened him on Facebook because he had extended support to a person who was allegedly beaten up by Khan’s men. Manna had even challenged Khan and his supporters to talk to him straight, rather than writing on social media. He claimed that Khan had later deleted his comments.
However, SSP Virk said, “This has nothing to do with this murder. Manna and Khna had some differences over civil works contracts. Manna’s men had got some contracts of civil works, after which his differences with Khan had started.”
Sources said Naruana was trying to resolve their differences as he knew both.
Khan was not available for comment. However, Khushbaz Jatana, constituency in-charge of Talwandi Sabo, said, “Differences between Aziz Khan and Manna had nothing to do with this murder. The Facebook post also had nothing to do with this murder. It seems he had some old rivalry with Naruana, due to which he took this step.”
Jatana alleged that Manna is a drug addict. “Naruana also had many cases pending against him but since 2016, there has been no case against him and he was leading a simple life and was even helping the poor,” he added.
Asked whether Khan will also be questioned, Virk said, “If need arises, we will question him as well.”
Sources said Khan was present at Naruana’s cremation.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.