No arrests made as Punjab RSS leader remains critical

Chandigarh, Aug 9: Punjab Police announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh and a police job to anyone providing information about the assailants of top Punjab RSS leader Brig. (Retd) Jagdish Gagneja, an official said on Tuesday.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader, who was shot thrice in the abdomen from close range by two unidentified motorcycle riders in a busy area of Jalandhar city on Saturday evening, continues to be in a critical state at the Hero DMC Heart Institute in Ludhiana.

Jagdish Gagneja

"The Punjab Police has offered a reward of Rs 10 lakh and a job in the police to anyone providing information on the two assailants who have been seen in some CCTV footage," a senior Punjab Police officer said here on Tuesday.

The Jalandhar police has got hold of CCTV grabs of different places in which two youths, wearing 'patkas' (a Sikh religious headgear worn by young Sikh boys) and with their faces covered with cloth, were seen moving around on a motorcycle.

The CCTV footage also indicated that the suspected assailants had trailed Gagneja, who retired from the army as a Brigadier in 2003, for some time before firing at him near the Red Cross market in the busy Jyoti Chowk area in the heart of Jalandhar city, 155 km from here.

Police sources said that the investigation teams had not made any arrests so far and were only following various leads, including the CCTV footage.

The Punjab RSS and the state BJP leadership have taken the attack on Gagneja very seriously.

The RSS and BJP leaders met Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Tuesday. They had met Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the Punjab Home Minister, here on Monday and demanded immediate and strict action.

Parkash Singh Badal told media in Hoshiarpur on Tuesday that the attack on the RSS leader was "not an ordinary law and order problem".

"The Punjab Police is enquiring into this attack and the forces behind this attack would be exposed soon. It is a deep rooted conspiracy," the senior Badal said.

The Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP have an alliance government in Punjab since 2007. The state goes in for assembly polls in February next year.


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