Saturday, September 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Robbers strike again, kill three
From Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

MALOUT, Sept 22 — Karnail Singh, his son Rupinderman Singh and their neighbourer Manjit Kaur were murdered late last night by persons suspected to be members of the “kale kachhewala” gang in a locality situated behind the local bus stand.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, husband of Manjit Kaur, who was hit by a bullet fired by one of the gang members, was admitted to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot. His condition was stated to be serious.

A pall of gloom descended on the town following the incident. A section of shopkeepers downed their shutters to express sympathy with the bereaved families.

This is the second such incident in the home-district of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Muktsar. Earlier, the gang had struck at Killianwali village on the night of September 6 and killed one person while he was asleep in his house.

Police sources said from the modus operandi it could be presumed that the crime had been committed by members of a criminal tribe as the police in Bathinda and Muktsar districts had apprehended a number of their accomplices recently.

Sources said four members of the “kale kachhewala” gang with muffled faces entered the house of Karnail Singh from the rear after scaling the boundary wall. They attacked Rupinderman Singh, who was sleeping in the courtyard. Then they went to the terrace and attacked Karnail Singh. Both father and son, who were attacked with sharp-edged weapons, died on the spot.

The robbers took away a single-barreled gun of Karnail Singh along with other valuables. After that the robbers went to the adjacent house and attacked Manjit Kaur, who was sleeping. Mr Sukhdev Singh, husband of the deceased, tried to raise the alarm but was fired at by the robbers.

The commotion woke up some neighbourers which forced the attackers to flee.

A police party reached the site immediately after it was informed of the incident. The district police pressed a number of police teams into service to nab the murderers.

The robbers snapped telephone wires in the house of Karnail Singh. They first killed his son who had been married 10 months ago.

Mr Hardeep Singh Dhillon, DIG, Ferozepore, Mr Kultar Singh, SSP, Muktsar, and Mr K.J.S Cheema, along with other police and civil officials, inspected the site of the crime. They also attended the cremation of Karnail Singh and Rupinderman Singh here.


Barnala faction to back SHSAD
From Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

BARNALA, Sept 22 — The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today suffered a major setback and the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) got a shot in the arm when the Surjit Singh Barnala faction announced its support for the SHSAD. It also decided to oppose the SAD candidate, Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa, vehemently in the Sunam Assembly byelection to be held on September 29.

This was decided at a meeting of a large number of Mr Barnala’s supporters which was called by Mr Barnala to elicit their views on the issue of supporting Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa at his residence here today.

The meeting was addressed by 40 speakers, including Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Mr Surinder Singh Dhuri, a former Punjab Minister, and Gurinder Pal Singh Dhanaula, Senior Vice-President of the youth wing of the SAD.

Jathedar Tota Singh, Punjab Education Minister, who visited the house of Mr Barnala today, tried to convince the supporters of Mr Barnala to support Mr Parkash Singh Badal and the SAD.

Most speakers urged Mr Barnala not to support the SAD candidate in the Sunam byelection whatever the cost. They also urged him to support Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, the ‘Sanjha morcha’ candidate and a leader of the SHSAD. They said they were not ready to support Mr Dhindsa as he had worked against Mr Barnala in the last parliamentary elections.

Jathedar Tota Singh was interrupted time and again by vociferous supporters of Mr Barnala when he was addressing the gathering. The workers seemed in no mood to listen his speech.

Mr Barnala also expressed his anguish against the SAD leadership. He mentioned that he had been opposed by a top leader of the SAD in the last Lok Sabha election.

After the meeting, the supporters of Mr Barnala urged him not to go to Sunam to campaign in favour of Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa.

Talking to TNS here, Mr Gurinder Pal Singh Dhanaula said the supporters of Mr Barnala would start campaigning for Mr Chandumajra from tomorrow to defeat the SAD candidate as their leader had been “ignored at all levels by the top leadership of the SAD.

When contacted, Mr Barnala said a majority of the speakers and workers were annoyed with Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa for opposing him in the last Lok Sabha elections, so they had asked him to support Mr Chandumajra. He also said he was a worker of the SAD and he could not leave the SAD.

Mr Barnala further said he had yet no plans to campaign for Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa. He would decide on the issue at a later stage, he said.

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