Sikh Radicals suspected to have killed Punjab RSS leader Gagneja

Rajesh Ahuja,New Delhi: Punjab Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) deputy chief Jagdish Gagneja may have

been killed by criminalturned-radical Sikh elements, intelligence agencies have told the government.
Gagneja was shot at by two unidentified youth on a motorcycle while he was shopping on in Jalandhar August 6. He died 47 days later due to complications from six bullet injuries.
His killers are yet to be identified and nabbed.
Days ago, an outfit by the name ‘Dashmesh Regiment’ claimed responsibility for targeting Gagneja and a Shiv Sena leader Durga Prasad Gupta in a note written in Punjabi. Gupta was also shot dead by two attackers on a motorcycle in Khanna in April. Intelligence sources say, Deshmesh Regiment used to be an active militant outfit in the early 90s.
Investigators are now probing possible links between the two murders.
Sources said despite a terrorist angle in Gagneja’s murder, the Punjab government transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which generally probes corruption or high-profile murder cases in the country .
Sources said Union home ministry initially planned to hand over the probe to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which specialises in terror related matters but due to the Punjab government’s reluctance for reasons not known yet, the case was transferred to the CBI.
“Gagneja’s murder is an indication of the revival of criminalturned-radical Sikh elements in Punjab. Many of these radicals have ties to smuggling networks as well,” said a senior intelligence officer here. The officer added that these elements get political patronage as well.
Punjab police had offered security to Gagneja last year, after recommendations from the Intelligence Bureau. “But Gangneja declined security saying he didn’t face a threat from anyone,” said the official