Patiala: A kabaddi player was shot dead after a clash with a group of men outside Punjabi University in Patiala on Tuesday (April 5) night. Dharminder Singh, a native of Don Kalan village was the president of the kabaddi club there. He was also active in politics.
Dharminder Singh had left the Shiromani Akali Dal ahead of the February 20 Punjab Assembly elections and campaigned for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Ghanaur. He had canvassed for another kabaddi player named Gurlal Ghanaur.
According to police, rival groups of Daun Kalan and Theri villages had engaged in clashes outside the university on Tuesday evening. Dharminder had gone to represent his villagers at a meeting with the rival group at a dhaba outside the campus when the incident took place. He was shot dead by unidentified persons when the talks were going on, sources said.
In the visuals, captured by locals in the area, at least 8 to 10 men were seen roaming around the lanes just minutes before Dharminder’s death. As per sources, 10 rounds of bullets were fired during the clashes. The police have taken possession of the body and initiated an investigation.
Patiala SSP Nanak Singh said four people have been identified in the murder case so far and teams have been deployed to nab the accused. He said that Dharminder’s body has been sent for post-mortem. The official ruled out the involvement of gangsters in this case, saying that it was a murder over enmity. The police are questioning eyewitnesses.
The incident comes just weeks after another international kabaddi player Sandeep Singh Nangal Ambian was shot dead by four assailants in Jalandhar on March 14. The police arrested all four accused and named a Canada-based NRI in the case.
Chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday asked Punjab Police chief VK Bhawra to set up an anti-gangster task force (AGTF) headed by an ADGP-rank officer. Chairing a high-level meeting of the police department, Mann emphasised the need to eradicate organised crime on priority. He assured the officers of requisite manpower, latest equipment and information technology besides adequate funds to the police force “to break the nexus that has already spread its wings in the drug trade and kabaddi sport”.