April 13, 2015 | By Parmjeet Singh
Gurdaspur, Punjab: Harvinder Soni, general secretary of the Punjab unit of the Shiv Sena, was shot at from point-blank range by a middle-aged Sikh man with a country made .315 pistol at around 8.30 am yesterday.
The incident took place at Fish Park, a posh area of Gurdaspur, a few yards away from the residence of the Deputy Commissioner (DC).
The police has reportedly arrested two more persons Inderpal Singh and Gurjit Singh in this case.
An attempt-to-murder case has been registered against Kashmir Singh at the Gurdaspur City police station.
Later, the police arrested Gurdaspur resident Inderpal Singh from Patiala after a statewide alert was sounded by the Punjab police.
The police nabbed Gurjit Singh alias Guggu, a resident of Wadala Granthian falling under the jurisdiction of the Batala police district, late in the evening today. He has been named co-conspirator by the police.
The Tribune notes that Inderpal was trying to flee from the state when he was arrested. He was instrumental in planning and executing a recce of the Fish Park area yesterday with main accused Kashmir Singh.
About three years ago, the then SSP had provided the Shiv Sena leader with 10 bodyguards. However when the shooting took place, Soni was accompanied by just two of them.
Police officers had claimed that Soni was provided with heavy security following a “threat-perception assessment” conducted by the Gurdaspur police in 2012. The presence of numerous policemen around Soni had irked some radical Sikh organisations.
Deputy Commissioner Dr Abhinav Trikha said that the law-and-order situation was under control. Soni had come into prominence during in March 2012 for his anti-Sikh activities. Soni was named in an attack on some Sikh youth on March 28 Punjab Bandh call by Sikh organisations against proposed hanging of Sikh political prisoner Balwant Singh Rajoana. The police had opened unprovoked firing on Sikhs, mostly youth, who were staging a peaceful sit-in demonstration on the road side near a Gurdwara Sahib in Gurdaspur city. They were demanding arrest of Soni and other Shiv Sena leaders who were named in FIR registered on March 28 for beating up Sikh youth and removing their turbans. Instead of arresting Soni and other accused the police opened fire. In the firing, a young engineering student — Jaspal Singh — was killed and another Ranjit Singh was seriously injured. Police role was biased in this case and the case related to murder of Jaspal Singh Gurdaspur was not sent to trail despite legal efforts on the part of victim’s family for last 3 years.
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