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Cop Killed in Gunfight in Sultanpur Lodhi, Opposition Targets Punjab Govt

The clash took place after a dispute between two groups over a gurdwara escalated.

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Crime
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A policeman was killed and five others injured during a gunfight between the police and Nihangs in Punjab's Sultanpur Lodhi in the early hours of Thursday.

The incident unfolded between 4 am and 5 am during an attempt by the police to apprehend Nihangs. The clash took place after a dispute between two groups regarding control of a gurdwara escalated on Tuesday.

According to ADGP Gurinder Dhillon, "Some people were arrested on Wednesday, some have been held on Thursday. An unfortunate event took place today (Thursday morning) when Nihangs fired on the police, and we lost one police personnel."

Kapurthala SSP Vatsala Gupta disclosed that Nihang leader Baba Balbir Singh of Budha Dal had maintained control over the gurdwara for several years, with Nirvair Singh and Jagjit Singh managing its affairs.

"When police received the information of some people being taken hostage, they gathered here and then there was unprovoked firing (on them), which led to the death of one of our officials, and two were left seriously injured.”
Special DG (Law & Order) Arpit Shukla
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Expressing concern over the situation, Punjab's Leader of the Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa question the efficacy of the government in ensuring the safety of both law enforcement officials and the public.

He posted on Twitter (formerly X), "One Punjab Police cop was killed and five others got injured after the Nihang Sikhs opened fire at Gurdwara Akal Bunga in Sultanpur Lodhi. If the police cannot protect themselves under the AAP regime, how can they safeguard the common people?".

He further called for the resignation of Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, who also holds the home portfolio in the state government.

However, Punjab minister Baljit Kaur assured that the law and order situation in Punjab remains stable.

"It is, in fact, better in the AAP government tenure. There are certain things that take time, but overall the situation is better," she posted on X (formerly Twitter).

AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Seechewal visited injured policemen admitted to the Civil Hospital. 4

The Nihangs trace their origin to the establishment of the 'Khalsa Panth' by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. Designated as the Guru's knights or the Guru's beloved, they are recognised for their distinctive appearance, always carrying an array of weapons, including swords, daggers, spears and sometimes even firearms.

Section 145 of CrPC has been imposed at the gurdwara, compelling both Nihang factions to stay away from the premises.

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