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Posted at: Oct 22, 2019, 6:57 AM; last updated: Oct 22, 2019, 11:26 AM (IST)ASSEMBLY BYPOLL

Akali worker hurt in Dakha violence

Ayali blames Cong leader for firing, latter refutes allegation

Nikhil Bhardwaj & Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21

Amid reports of a firing incident, 71.46 per cent voting percentage was recorded in the Dakha constituency on Monday. It was 81.52% during the 2017 Assembly election.

Akali worker Gurpreet Singh Gopi (26) suffered a bullet injury near the polling booth in Jangpur village on Monday evening.

The injured SAD worker, who suffered a bullet injury in his left thigh, was rushed to the DMCH where his condition is stable.

SAD Dakha candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali categorically levelled allegations on Congress leader Daljit Singh Grewal (Bhola) for opening fire at the Akali worker outside the booth.

“Congress leader Bhola, who as per rule cannot stand outside the booth, reached there and was about to do fake voting. When our workers opposed him, Bhola and other Congress workers indulged in a scuffle and the latter fired at our worker Gopi and fled the spot,” Ayali told The Tribune.

Ayali alleged despite the campaigning ended, Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu and other Congress leaders were openly roaming in the Dakha constituency, violating the poll code. Before the firing incident, Bittu had reached Jangpur village, where he incited Congress workers to teach lesson to the Akalis, due to which Congress leader Bhola resorted to firing without any fear.

He the Election Commission about the glare violations by the Congress.

When contacted, Bhola refutted the allegation and said:“I visited the Dakha constituency on Sunday, but not on Monday. I am surprised, why my name is being dragged into the firing case. I was in Ludhiana when the incident occurred and I got to know about it from the party workers that Ayali is dragging my name into it without any logic.”

Later, SAD workers released a video in which Bhola can be seen roaming near the polling booth in Jangpur village.

Bittu, however, said persons who fired at the Akali worker was not with Bhola and the police were verifying about them. He even denied the SAD allegation that he incited Congress workers to fire at the Akalis.

Ludhiana Range DIG Ranbir Singh Khatra said the incident occurred at 6.05 pm, when the polling was already over and it occurred about 150 yards away from the booth in Jangpur village.” “I only know that firing took place and a person suffered a bullet injury but so far, nothing is cleared about the one who fired the shots. The police are recording the statement of the injured and further legal proceedings will be initiated after that,” DIG Khatra added.

Meanwhile, senior Akali leader Daljeet Singh Cheema, while sharing a video on his Twitter account, alleged that Congress MLA from Bagga Purana violated the poll code in Bhaini Gujjar village of Dakha assembly by trying to influence voters.

Cheema also condemned the firing incident and demanded from the Election Commission and Punjab Chief Electoral Officer to order a high-level inquiry.

Commenting on firing incident, District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agrawal said the district administration came to know about it and the probe was underway. He, however, claimed that the incident took place after the completion of the polling process and away fromthe booth. Besides this, no case of violence has been reported from any other village or area of the Dakha constituency, the DC added.

Dakha 75.46% votes polled
Jalalabad 71.64% votes polled
Phagwara (SC) 55.9% votes polled
Mukerian 58.6% votes polled

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