Amritsar – District president of the Amritsar unit of Hindu Sangharsh Sena Vipin Sharma ,45, was shot dead by two unidentified assailants in the Bharat Nagar area here on Monday.
The murderous attack has come within two weeks of similar incident in which RSS leader Ravinder Gosain was shot dead outside his house in Ludhiana on October 17.
This is the fifth such murder of Hindu outfit leaders, and the ninth overall of any religious or religio-political leader, in the last two years in Punjab. It is also the third such killing in the tenure of the Congress regime under Captain Amarinder Singh that took power in March.
Police Commissioner S S Srivastav and other top officials reached the spot.
Fourteen bullets were fired at Vipin Sharma at 2.09 pm when he was returning home on his motorcycle after supervising a langar organised by Jai Shankar Welfare Society on Batala road, the police said. The incident has been caught on CCTV camera and one of the shooters had not covered his face.
He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him dead.
CCTV footage of the incident has gone viral in which two youths, one of whom has his face covered, are seen firing indiscriminately at Vipin. This indicated that he was the only target of the assailants.
Srivastav said an alert has been sounded and efforts were on to identify one of the assailants whose face was captured on CCTV camera.
The Police Commissioner also held meeting with several Hindu outfit leaders and urged them to maintain peace and assured that the suspects will be nabbed soon.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Shiv Sena flayed the gunning down of the Hindu leader.
In a statement, the Sena’s state vice president Rajesh Palta alleged that the killing of Hindu leaders one after the other was indicative of revival of terrorism in Punjab.
“If Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh does not tackle the issue with an iron hand, and instead carries on with the SAD-BJP policy of soft-pedalling over religious fundamentalists, then Punjab will again plunge into the dark days of terrorism like in the past and there will be danger to national integrity and amity,” he claimed. — With agencies
Police did not commit to any theory immediately. “Multiple theories are coming out in the primary investigation. The possibility of personal enmity due to his business operations can’t be ruled out too,” said additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP)-1, Charanjit Singh.
In the footage, Sharma is seen talking to multiple people on the street and then getting ready to get onto a bike with someone. He had come to the locality to meet friend Ramesh Kumar Monu, who is state president of the outfit and managed to escape as only Sharma was targeted. Sources said police are working on whether Monu was the target, and why he was spared despite being state chief of the same outfit.
Punjab Hindu Shiv Sena leader Chetan Kakkar said: “This is the handiwork of Khalistani terrorists. Vipin had been involved in a run-in with some Sikh hardliners after he burnt an effigy of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a few years ago.”