12 October 2010
MANSA: Tension prevailed in villages in Mansa district following an Ahrtiya (commission agent) and his henchmen on Monday shot dead a Bharti Kisan Union (BJKU) leader and injured two others in the presence of Punjab government officials and police who stood mute spectators.
The Ahrtiya Ram Krishan had accompanied Budhladha Tehsildar Subhash Chander arrived in village Beero Ke Khurd to take possession of a 2 acres of land to be auctioned, according to eyewitnesses.
The deceased has been identified as senior vice-president of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta-Dakounda), Pirthi Pal Singh (35) of Chak Ali Sher village. According to reports, farmer Bhola Singh of Veero ke Khurd owed about of Rs 3 lakh to a commission agent (arhtiya), Ram Krishan of Budhladha. Finding that he was not repaying the debt, the commission agent got orders for taking his land measuring 10 kanals into legal possession.
To take possession, when Ram Krishan along with revenue officials reached the spot, activists of the BKU, who were already present there, started lodging a protest and even held a demonstration against the officials. Finding that the union activists were not relenting, the officials and the arhtiya had to leave the place.
Immediately after that, the union activists assembled at a common place in the village to rejoice over their so-called victory.
Meanwhile, Ram Krishan alonmg wqith his sons and goons reached there and started firing of farmers. A bullet hit Pirthi Pal Singh, who died on the spot. Tarsem Singh and Lachhman Singh of Chak Ali Sher village sustained bullet injuries. Leaving them lying in a pool of blood, the attackers fled.
Soon after, villagers took the injured persons to the Civil Hospital in Mansa, where doctors declared Pirthi Pal dead.
When contacted, SSP, Mansa, Hardial Singh Mann said the police was recording the statements of the bereaved kin and various other eyewitnesses. Acting upon that, a case would be registered against commission agent Ram Krishan and eight others under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and various sections of the Arms Act.
“We have constituted teams to nab the accused,” the SSP said.
Meanwhile, various organisations have condemned the incident and asked the government to award compensation of Rs 10 lakh to kin of the deceased and arrest all accused, failing which a mass protest could take place.