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Punjab Shiv Sena leader Harvinder Soni shot at, seriously injured

Gurdaspur: A Punjab Shiv Sena leader was allegedly shot at and serioulsy injured by an assailant at a park here on Sunday, police said. Harvinder Soni, who was on a morning walk at Fish Park here along with his security personnel, was allegedly shot at by an assailant, Gurdaspur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh said. The gunman of the Shiv Sena leader overpowered the assailant, who shouted slogans in favour of separate Sikh homeland, he said. Assailant Kashmira Singh was arrested and was being questioned, he said, adding that Soni has been rushed to a hospital in Amritsar. Hospital sources said the condition of Soni was serious and he had been operated upon to take out the bullet from his body. Police have registered a case in this connection and further investigations were on. Meanwhile, tension mounted in Gurdaspur and spilled over to a few other parts of Punjab, including Ludhiana. Situation in Gurdaspur is tense but under control, police said. Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) activists blocked traffic on the national highway at Basti Jodhewal Chowk in Ludhiana for a few hours to protest against the assault on its leader. In Gurdaspur, various Hindu outfits held an emergent meeting and gave a strike call in the area tomorrow and sought stringent action against the assailant. A Hindu outfit has also demanded resignation of the state police chief alleging that he had failed to protect the Hindus in the state. Police said the accused belonged to Dalwandi village near Khanna in Ludhiana district. IG Border Ishwar Chander said the assailant had been involved in criminal activities in the past and two separate cases of dacoity and looting were pending against him in different districts of Punjab. Doctors at the Amritsar hospital where Shiv Sena leader Soni is being treated said post surgery he is out of danger. Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) Punjab unit president Yograj Sharma alleged that the state government was "responsible" for the "murderous attack" on Soni, who is Shiv Sena Punjab unit secretary. Sharma alleged Soni had earlier informed the state government that he was getting threats from militants settled abroad. Even during the recent Marathi literary fest at Guman in Gurdaspur several posters of Hindu organisations were found torn by some miscreants, he claimed and alleged that several other Hindu organisations activists including Ashish Snghal were also getting threat calls. Police suspect the assailant wanted to take revenge for the assault on some Sikh youths allegedly by Soni during a bandh in 2012 called by some radical outfits to protest the death sentence given to Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in the Beant Singh assassination case. An engineering student, Jaspal Singh, was killed in police firing following a scuffle between Hindu and Sikh outfits during the bandh call in Gurdaspur on March 29, 2012. Police have recovered a country-made revolver and some cartridges from the assailant. Meanwhile, Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma condemned the attack on the Shiv Sena leader and urged the Parkash Singh Badal government to deal strictly with those behind the attack. "A few nefarious elements sitting abroad want to vitiate the atmosphere in Punjab and flare up communal tension. This will not be allowed at any cost," he said in a statement. In Phagwara, representatives of several Hindu bodies, including Shiv Sena Bal Thackeray, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti, Parshu Ram Sena Punjab and Shiv Sena Punjab, in a meeting flayed the "murderous assault". The organisations accused the Badal government of patronising hardcore Sikh elements in order to revive terrorism. The meeting urged President Pranab Mukherjee to sack the Badal government for its alleged failure on law and order front and clamp President's Rule in the state. PTI

Updated : 13 April 2015 7:52 AM GMT
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