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Prateek Shivdasani | HENB | Chandigarh | Aug 9, 2016:: Flaying attack on Punjab RSS leader Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (Retd) in Jalandhar, Hindu Shiv Sena on Sunday warned of “a large-scale struggle” if the state government fails to arrest the accused within a week.
Miscreants were “intentionally” targeting Hindu leaders for triggering migration of Hindus from Punjab to other states, Sena’s state president Shivi Batta alleged.
In case the assailants were not arrested within a week, then Sena will embark upon a large-scale struggle, he said.
Drawing a parallel between the Saturday’sattack with the ones on the Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir in the nineties for forcing them to migrate from the valley, Batta alleged that miscreants wanted to create fear psychosis among Hindus of Punjab.
He alleged that the Parkash Singh Badal government was hand in gloves with Khalistanis and other Sikh hardliners. Inderjit Karwal, Vice-president, Shiv Sena alleged that there is a conspiracy by state government behind the attack on the RSS leader.
He alleged that the Badal government was playing its “time-tested pre-poll communal card” for “polarising” votes of a section of society in its favour.
Accusing BJP of being a “puppet” of Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab, Karwal alleged BJP was giving “preference” to the coalition duties over national interest for petty political gains. (Source: PTI).
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said the attack on senior RSS leader Jagdish Gagneja could have been orchestrated by a “neighbouring country” to create law and order problems.
“Law and order problem could be created either by internal forces or by external forces. This (attack on Gagneja) appears to be a case of the second type where the hand of a neighbouring country could not be ruled out,” he said after visiting the RSS leader who is still critical.
Instead of criticising one another, we should maintain unity and brotherhood, Badal said.
The Punjab Chief Minister also met members of Gagneja’s family in the hospital and talked to the doctors about the RSS leader’s condition.
Earlier, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also enquired about the health of Gajneja.
He said that ten special police teams had been formed to nab the criminals behind the attack.
Gagneja, the Vice President of RSS (Punjab), was shot at on Saturday by bike-borne persons at Jyoti Chowk area in Jalandhar when he had gone shopping with his wife, leaving him seriously injured. A four-member SIT has been formed to probe the attack. (Source: PTI).
The peace-vitiating bid to kill Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (retd), the key person of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Punjab, also set the alarms bells ringing in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Top functionaries in the PMO kept the Punjab governments’ civil and police authorities on their toes all-through the Saturday night. After reports began pouring in that two unidentified bike-borne assailants in Jalandhar had pumped in bullets into the abdomen of Gajneja, the PMO monitored the developments on an hourly basis, according to high-ranking police sources.
Gagneja was shot thrice in the abdomen near the busy Jyoti Chowk in Jalandhar a little after 8 pm on Saturday. He was shifted to Hero DMC Heart Institute in a critical condition on Sunday.
Sources say the Union government has also drawn up a plan to shift the ex-army officer to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) or the Army Referral Hospital in Delhi.
“The PMO was in touch with Punjab officers till 3am on Sunday. Brig Gagneja is the backbone of the RSS in Punjab. The PMO was trying to collect early leads such as why Gagneja was attacked and who could be behind this murderous attack,” a Punjab-based RSS leader told Hindustan Times.
PANIC IN POLICE
After the initial shock of this yet another targeted shootout started sinking in, the state government alerted deputy commissioners (DCs) and senior superintendents of police (SSPs) across the state to take precautionary steps. The DCs were asked to review security arrangements with the district police chiefs.
But the panic in Punjab Police was such that director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora requested the state government to immediately seek 15 companies (about 1,500 men) of the paramilitary forces from the Centre.
“By 11pm on Saturday, all the DCs received a message from the government in Chandigarh that on the request of the DGP, the government has requested the Centre to give the border state 15 additional companies of the CRPF. After this, 10 companies of the paramilitary forces were deployed on Sunday on the basis of feedback by DCs and the SSPs,” said an IAS officer posted in the field.
The decision to deploy paramilitary forces as a precautionary measure indicates the “self-confidence” of Punjab Police and its “preparedness” to handle tough law and order situations in the wake of two back-to-back terror strikes — July 27, 2015, Dinanagar and the January 2 Pathankot airbase attacks — and recent spate of targeted killings.
Sources say two companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed in Jalandhar on Sunday, while a RAF company each was sent to Ludhiana and Amritsar. Six BSF companies were deployed in other sensitive parts.
Police have gathered a clue that in the shootout, a 9mm weapon was used. The assailants had used a similar weapon in a shootout at a RSS “shakha” in Ludhiana in January. Also, the assailants used .32-bore bullets while attacking Gagneja who sustained multiple gunshot injuries in the intestine.
Police are banking on the CCTV footage in which two bike-borne suspects are seen covering their head with a “patka” and faces with a white cloth. The assailants, police sources say, were trailing the RSS leader after he left home.
Now, the Jalandhar incident CCTV footage frame is being matched with the CCTV footages of Ludhiana and Khanna shootout cases in which RSS and Shiv Sena activists were targeted. “We are exploring if same assailants were involved in Jalandhar and Ludhiana cases,” a police officer said. (Source: HT, Report by Pawan Sharma).
Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said several teams of police were on a hunt to nab the culprits who attacked vice-president of the Punjab unit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (retd).
Badal, who visited the Hero DMC Heart Institute in Ludhiana, while talking to media said, “Police teams comprising of best officials have been formed to crack the case as soon as possible”.
Badal reached the hospital at 2.35 pm and went to visit Gagneja, who has been kept at ICU number 2. He discussed the medical condition of Gagneja with senior doctors of the institution.
Badal said there was no law and order problem in the state and police were working day and night to arrest those who attacked Gagneja.
Elaborate security arrangements were put in place as chief minister Prakash Singh Badal is also scheduled to visit DMC at 4.30 pm.
Meanwhile, there was no improvement in the condition of Gagneja who was on ventilator at the hospital. (Source: HT).
Even 72 hours after the murderous attack on Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leader Jagdish Gagneja, the men who shot at him on the Model Town road here on Saturday night remain untraced.
Footage from the security-camera of an electronics showroom on the road has helped police get description of the attackers and know that they were on a Bajaj motorcycle, the registration number of which belongs to a tractor.
On Sunday morning, a special investigation team (SIT) led by director general of police (law and order) Hardeep Singh Dhillon and including additional DGP IPS Sahota, police commissioner Arpit Shukla, inspector general (counter-intelligence) Neelabh Kishore, and assistant IG Amarjit Singh Bajwa, visited the spot.
In the evening, state police chief Suresh Arora visited the scene of crime but denied that there was an intelligence input about the attack. Police commissioner Arpit Shukla said 10 teams were on the case and the attackers’ hazy video was being enhanced for clarity.
The security of the RSS shakhas (daily gatherings) in the city has been tightened. (Source: HT).
Courtesy: Sources mentioned above.