On January 31, a Hindu temple priest identified as Sant Gyan Muni was attacked by unknown assailants in Phillaur, Punjab. A 16-year-old girl who came to his rescue was also shot during the incident. As per a report in Jagbani, two assailants had opened fire on the priest. A girl identified as Simran came to his rescue, but she was shot too. They were rushed to the DMC hospital in critical condition. The incident took place in Bhar Singh Pura village of Phillaur during the early morning hours.
Reports suggest that there was a group of devotees in the temple at the time of the incident. The shooting caused a stampede among the devotees. The assailants reached to the place where the priest was sitting and started shooting at him. Simran rushed to his rescue, but the assailants shot her two. The priest got shot thrice while Simran suffered two bullet injuries. Both of them are getting treatment at Civil Hospital Jalandhar in critical condition. As of now, it is unclear why assailants attacked the priest.
Superintendent of Police Suhail Kasir Mir and SHO Sanjeev Kapoor visited the spot for investigation with a police party. Sant Gyan Muni had established the temple a few years ago. Some reports have suggested that there was some dispute over the establishment of the temple. SHO Kapoor said, “An FIR has been lodged against two persons under Sections 307 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 25, 27 and 54 of the Arms Act. The victims are serious and are receiving treatment. The search for shooters is on.”
Notably, village Bhar Singh Pura recently gained headlines because of Khalistan Tiger Force Chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was born in this village. In 2020, he was designated as a terrorist by the Indian government along with Gurparwant Singh Pannu of Sikhs for Justice. In September 2020, NIA had attached his properties in Bhar Singh Pura village under section 51A of UAPA.