The turf war between Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) over farmers agitation in Punjab ended in a clash on Tuesday with workers of both parties exchanging brickbats outside the office of sub divisional magistrate during filing of nomination papers for municipal council elections in Jalalabad in Fazilka district in Punjab on Tuesday.
Gunshots were also fired during the clash.
A few unidentified persons had also fired gun shots on Akali Dal workers and two persons were injured. Sukhbir Badal had accompanied his party workers for filing of nomination papers. Sukhbir Badal’s car was badly damaged on stone pelting while he himself escaped unhurt.
Sukhbir Badal alleged that it was a planned attack on him. He alleged that police escorted the Congress workers who indulged in stone pelting. He said that police had gone away when he was attacked and his party workers saved him. He said that he was not allowed to enter the office of presiding officer. He said that they would not leave the place until nomination papers of his workers are filed.
“Though Sukhbir Singh Badal escaped unhurt, his vehicle was damaged in the stone-pelting,” his media adviser, Jangveer Singh, said.
The SAD chief was at his political bastion to oversee the filing of nominations by his party leaders. “It was a blatant attack on Sukhbir, a Z+ protectee, who represents Ferozepur in the Lok Sabha. His vehicle was targeted by the mob led by Jalalabad Congress MLA Raminder Singh Awala,” he said.
He said at least three Akali workers were hit by bullets and several others injured in the stone-pelting.
Sukhbir could not be contacted as his personal team said the leader was busy briefing the Lok Sabha Speaker.
When contacted, Awala charged Sukhbir with creating a ruckus and inciting his supporters to attack the Congress workers.
He said at least one Congress activist suffered bullet injuries and more than six got head injuries in the stone-pelting.
“Nominations by SAD and others for the nearby Arniwala local body elections went on peacefully on Monday. But today, Sukhbir brought workers from other places as a show of strength at Jalalabad. He had lost the last byelection to me from Jalalabad. Akali workers opened fire at our team and they resorted to violence,” Awala said.
Leaders of both parties blamed each other for carrying firearms during electioneering that triggered the violence.