Punjab: Hindu right-wing leader Sudhir Suri shot dead in Amritsar
A Hindu right-wing leader Sudhir Suri, of a local religious outfit called Shiv Sena — unrelated to the political party from Maharashtra — was shot dead during a sit-in outside a temple over a management dispute in Amritsar of Punjab on Friday. An accused was arrested and a pistol was recovered from his possession. Suri died on the way to the hospital, reported BBC.
Why does this story matter?
- This comes months after the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, who also had police security.
- Opposition leaders pointed fingers at the state of law and order in Punjab under Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), who took charge in February this year.
- Punjab has faced public ire over the excessive use and glorification of guns and gun culture.
5 shots fired, 2 hit Suri
Suri had police protection but the accused, identified as a local shopkeeper Sandeep Singh, managed to hit him. Reportedly, five shots were fired from a pistol, of which two hit Suri. Eyewitnesses said the accused had arrived at the site in an SUV with three others, who managed to escape. The police appealed to people to remain calm and refrain from sharing inflammatory messages.
Suri died on the way to hospital
Punjab | Sudhir Suri was shot outside Gopal Mandir, Amritsar during some agitation. He sustained bullet injuries was rushed to hospital and died. Accused arrest, his weapons recovered: Amritsar CP on Shiv Sena leader Sudhir Suri being shot at in Amritsar https://t.co/7ceG1C9QKo pic.twitter.com/qLB4nG0ld9— ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2022
Dispute over broken idols found in trash
Suri is known for his incendiary and reportedly communal speeches on social media. He allegedly got into an argument with the temple authorities after some broken idols were found in the trash following which he sat on an agitation outside the temple. Amid this, he was shot while his associate, who was sitting next to him, fired back at the assailant using a revolver.
Chaos ensued after the incident, police security was beefed up
2016-17 witnessed a slew of killings
A series of Hindu right-wing leaders and other religious figures were killed during 2016 and 2017 when Punjab was under the coalition government of Akali Dal and BJP, and Congress. In October 2017, two motorcycle-borne men shot dead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader from Ludhiana, Ravinder Gosain (60). Similarly in June 2017, a Christian pastor, Sultan Masih was shot dead.