Tribune News Service
Dera Baba Nanak (Gurdaspur), January 14
The crematorium at Machhrala village in the Dera Baba Nanak Assembly segment turned into a battleground on Thursday with Congress sarpanch Manjit Singh gunning down his predecessor and distant cousin Hardayal Singh, also a Congress man. Minutes later, he was shot dead by the kin of the deceased.
The groups clashed over the distribution of grant by Cabinet Minister and local MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa to improve facilities at the village crematorium.Three persons sustained serious injuries. Police sources claimed scores of rounds were fired by the warring groups. Even as Randhawa appealed for peace, a senior officer said the situation remained tense.
SSP Rachpal Singh, SP (D) Tejbir Singh Hundal and SHOs of Dera Baba Nanak, Fatehgarh Churian and Kotli Surat Malhi reached the trouble site within an hour. Sources said sitting sarpanch Manjit Singh was overseeing construction work along with his aides when his predecessor reached there with his supporters. An argument ensued following which Manjit Singh, who was carrying his licensed revolver, opened fire.
Minutes later, relatives of the deceased shot the sarpanch point-blank. Both Manjit and Hardayal were rushed to an Amritsar hospital where they were declared dead. A case of murder and various Sections of the Arms Act has been registered at the Dera Baba Nanak police station.