Punjab Shiv Sena leader attacked with swords in Ludhiana

Hours after the incident, two of the assailants were arrested from Fatehgarh Sahib district

Representative image of Punjab police (photo: NH archives)
Representative image of Punjab police (photo: NH archives)


A Shiv Sena (Punjab) leader was grievously injured after he was attacked with swords by three assailants in full public view on Friday, 5 July, police said.

Hours after the incident, two of the assailants were arrested from Fatehgarh Sahib district. Thapar's security personnel, who was accompanying him at the time of the incident, was suspended for negligence of duty, they said.

Opposition parties targeted the CM Bhagwant Mann-led state government over the law and order situation and demanded that he step down on moral grounds.

Shiv Sena (Punjab) leader Sandeep Thapar (58) was attacked when he came out of the office of the Samvedna Trust near the Civil Hospital after attending a ceremony to mark the fourth death anniversary of the trust's founder-president Ravinder Arora, police said.

The Samvedna Trust provides free ambulance service to patients and hearse vehicles.

CCTV footage of the incident surfaced on social media.

In the purported video, the assailants dressed as Nihangs approached Thapar while he was on a scooter with his securityman riding pillion.

While Thapar was speaking to the assailants with folded hands, one of them suddenly attacked him with a sword as passersby looked on. Another assailant appears to be pushing Thapar's securityman away.

After Thapar fell down, the third assailant also started hitting Thapar with a sword. Later, two of the accused fled on Thapar's scooter, leaving him in a pool of blood.

Nihangs belong to a warrior Sikh sect whose members are usually seen in blue robes, carrying traditional weapons.

Thapar, who suffered multiple injuries, was immediately rushed to the Civil Hospital. Later, he was referred to a private hospital where his condition was stated to be serious, police said.

Ludhiana Police Commissioner Kuldeep Chahal and Fatehgarh Sahib Senior Superintendent of Police Ravjot Grewal told reporters here that Thapar sustained injuries on his head, arms and legs.

Two of the assailants, ”Sarabjit Singh and Harjot Singh, both Ludhiana residents, were arrested from Fatehgarh Sahib. The scooter was also recovered from them, police said.

The third assailant, Tehal Singh, is on the run and raids are being conducted to nab him, they said.

Police said a case has been registered under relevant sections of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) in the matter.

Thapar's securityman has been suspended for negligence of duty, they added.

The BJP condemned the attack and demanded the resignation of Mann.

Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar said, "This incident has proved that the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is failing miserably in maintaining peace in the state."

"Strict action should be taken against the culprits of this murderous attack," said Jakhar in a post on X in Punjabi.

Punjab BJP general secretary Anil Sareen said Mann is not only the chief minister of the state but also holds the home portfolio.

Ever since the AAP has come to power in Punjab, the law and order situation in the state has gone from bad to worse, he alleged.

Sareen said the Punjab government has proved to be an "utter failure" on the law and order front.

In such circumstances, the chief minister should take moral responsibility for such incidents and quit, he said.

In a post on X, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said, "Such incidents are occurring with increasing frequency in the @AamAadmiParty govt but CM @BhagwantMann is oblivious to the situation and is doing nothing to stop the steep slide in law and order."

"Punjab is descending into jungle raj with extortions and targeted killings under the AAP regime," he said.

Congress leader Partap Bajwa too condemned the incident and targeted Mann for the current law and order situation in the state.

"Peace in Punjab returned after endless sacrifices, no one should be allowed to vitiate the atmosphere of the state. In Punjab people from all religions live together with love and brotherhood," he said in a post on X.

"There are external forces at play who want to disturb Punjab's peace once again for their political benefits. Punjab CM stop your theatrics and focus on law and order of the state, being the Home Minister the buck stops at your door," said Bajwa.

"You have failed to control drugs, now law and order is also falling apart. If you can't take care of the state, resign as chief minister and let some able leader of AAP take over.

"Don't ruin the state while you are busy cracking jokes and praising yourself on public stages. Get down on the ground and see the reality. Today, no one is safe in Punjab under your watch," Bajwa said.

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