Monday night shoot-out: 4 Barnala youths remanded in police custody


Amid many versions of the story behind the shoot-out between two groups of Barnala youths on the dividing road of Sector 22 and Sector 23 on Monday night, a local court on Tuesday remanded in police custody till December 7 the four accused who were in the car on which the fire was opened.

While a dispute on borrowing and not returning a car was stated to be the reason for the shoot-out, an accused said those who opened fire were involved in the murder of former MLA Malkit Singh Keetu.

Satwant Singh Sohi, one of the accused in police custody, alleged that the car which was following theirs had come to kill him. "First, these people killed (former MLA) Malkit saab. Now they came after me," he said.

However, police said the real cause of the entire episode was something else.

Sohi alleged the three accused — Rachpal Singh, Arsideep Singh and Jaspreet Singh who fired shots at him and his friends — had borrowed his car in October 2012. Since they did not return the car, he lodged a complaint of car theft in Meherkalan police station, Barnala.

On Monday night, when Sohi along with Taranjit Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh and Harwinder Singh came out of a dhaba after having dinner, they met the other group. The two groups then had an argument. After this, Sohi and others were followed by the other group, which later opened fire at Sohi and his friends.

The accused were remanded in police custody for three days because the five people who were allegedly shot at were also carrying revolvers and were booked on charges of rash driving, firing shots in the air and possession of firearms without valid licences.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Central) Ashish Kapoor said, "Two .32 bore revolvers have been recovered from the arrested accused. Both the revolvers have been bought from the Ordnance store (a store which sells ammunition to military). One of the revolvers was recovered from Taranjit Singh, a member of the Youth Akali Dal, and the other one from Satwant Singh Sohi."

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