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2 die in firing at Badal’s rally in Kharar
Kulwinder Sangha

Kharar, July 2
Two persons were killed and three injured, including a SAD leader, in a firing at an SGPC election rally held at Anaj Mandi here today. The rally was to be addressed, among others, by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief.

Harveer Singh (26), a resident of Kheri Gurna village under Banur police station, died on the spot. His body was taken to the local civil hospital. The second person killed in the firing was Paramjit Singh (27), a resident of Kheri Sodhian village in Sangrur district. It is learnt that Paramjit Singh, who was seriously injured, was being rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh. But he succumbed to his injuries on the way.

The three injured persons are Mr Kiranbir Singh Kang, senior vice-president of the youth wing of SAD, and Mr Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Mundi Kharar, and Mr Sajjan Singh Bawa. While Mr Kang got a bullet injury in his right thigh, Mr Sukhdev Singh’s foot was injured. Dr Shalinder Jeet Kaur, who was on emergency duty, said Mr Kang was referred to the PGI for an x-ray examination.

The incident took place at 3.15 pm before Mr Badal had reached Kharar to address the rally. At about 5.45 pm. Mr Badal reached the civil hospital here to see the body of Harveer Singh which was lying in the hospital mortuary. According to some friends, Harveer Singh had got married in November last year. At present he was doing his Ph.D from Punjabi University. He was a former president of the students organisation of Panjab University.

Mr Kang told The Tribune that he was addressing the gathering when Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala, junior vice-president, SAD, who had contested the Assembly election in 2002, came to the rally along with his supporters. He said he welcomed Mr Padiala and asked him to come on the stage and requested his supporters to sit in the pandal.

It is learnt that when Mr Padiala went on the stage, the supporters of Mr Kang raised slogans. Reacting to this, Mr Padiala allegedly snatched the mike which was being used by Mr Kang. This led to heated exchanges between the two, followed by scuffles involving supporters of both leaders. During the scuffle the turban of Mr Kang fell off. However, the situation took an ugly turn when the supporters of Mr Padiala allegedly resorted to firing.

Mr Kang, who is an aspirant for a ticket in the next Assembly elections, alleged that Mr Padiala said: “Agar tainu zinda chadan ga, tan he tu ticket lawen ga”. Mr Kang said that no action was taken by the police personnel on duty when the firing took place.

When Mr Badal, who came to the Civil Hospital, was asked to comment on the firing incident, he said it was unfortunate that such a situation had arisen. When asked why SAD leaders had come armed for the election rally, Mr Badal gave no answer. He, however, said the incident would definitely have an adverse affect on the coming SGPC polls.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, who suffered an injury on his foot, said he had come from Dubai about two months back and came to the election rally only to see Mr Badal and hear his speech. He said when the firing started he ran out of the pandal, as most others were doing, but a bullet hit him on his foot.



Two booked

Both Kiranbir Singh Kang and Rajbir Singh Padiala have been booked under cross FIRs by the Ropar police. According to the SSP Ropar, Mr S.P. Singh, Rajbir Singh Padiala alongwith his brother, Tejbir Singh have been booked for killing Harveer Singh while Kiranbir Singh Kang has been booked for killing Paramjit Singh.

‘‘It was basically a clash between Sukhbir Badal’s supporters and Prakash Singh Badal’s men. Kiranbir Singh Kang and his men were in the pandal laced with weapons and when Rajbir Singh Padiala reached there with his men, it led to a clash. We have booked both on charges of murder,’’ said Mr S.P. Singh.

The two have been booked under sections 302, 307, 148, 149 of the IPC and various sections of the Arms Act.

According to the SSP, no arrests have been made yet.

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