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Two unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants shot dead a senior Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leader in the Kailash Nagar locality here today, the police said.
Ravinder Gosain, 60, was returning home after attending a morning drill (RSS shakha) when he was attacked, they said. Gosain died on the spot and the attackers fled, the police officials said.
Yash Giri, city secretary of the RSS, while condemning the incident said it was "definitely a target killing".
"The victim was in Sangh uniform and about to enter his house when the killers targeted him," he said.
Police said they were examining CCTV footage from the cameras installed in the locality to get a clue about the culprits. Two suspects, with their faces covered, on a bike could be seen in the CCTV footage, they said.
"We are working on various theories. Police teams have been dispatched to various places in search of the killers," Ludhiana Commissioner of Police R N Dhoke said.
He said investigations were underway but added that it would be premature to term the incident as "terrorist crime".
Significantly, last year, another senior RSS leader Jagdish Gagneja died after he was shot by bike-borne assailants in Jalandhar. The incident also comes at a time when BJP has been protesting against the killing of RSS and its own workers in Kerala.
Opposition parties, the BJP and the SAD, strongly condemned Gosain's killing.
Punjab BJP chief and Union minister Vijay Sampla alleged that the killing proved that the law and order situation had deteriorated in Punjab.
"His murder is reminiscent of the black days of terrorism," said Sampla while demanding security for RSS and BJP leaders.
I have taken up this issue with Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore and he told me that a report on this matter has been sought from the home secretary, said Sampla.
"It is an unfortunate incident and we strongly condemn it. It is an attempt to disturb the communal harmony in Punjab," SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said.
The state government should take this incident seriously and those responsible for this heinous crime should be put behind bars, demanded Cheema, a former minister.
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