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Punjab: Shaurya Chakra awardee gunned down in Taran Taran, family performs last rites

A Shaurya Chakra awardee, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, was shot down by two unknown assailants in Punjab’s  Tarn Taran district on Friday evening.

 People gathered to pay last tributes to  Balwinder Singh as his family conducts his last rites.

Earlier, Sadhu’s family members refused to cremate the body unless the accused are arrested.

Jagdish also demanded security cover for his family.

“There are 42 registered FIRs of attacks on our family and countless other attacks have taken place which are not on record. Withdrawal of security was wrong,” his wife said.

“Govt, administration & intelligence agencies are responsible for this. We sought security again, but to no avail. Those who treat security cover as a status symbol have been provided with it. We actually needed it but weren’t provided,” she added.

The 62-year-old man was gunned down by motorcycle-borne assailants when he was at his office adjoining his home at Bhikhiwind.

“All the family members – I, my late husband, his brother Ranjit Singh Sandhu and his wife Balraj Kaur Sandhu – are Shaurya Chakra awardees and this award was given by the Centre for our fight against militancy,” Jagdish said.

Both the state and Central governments are accountable for” the intelligence failure that resulted in the killing of my husband at the hands of terrorists,” Sandhu’s wife added.

Earlier, Sadhu’s wife had said that was the “handiwork of terrorists”, maintaining that their family did not have personal enmity with anyone.

Sadhu’s brother Ranjit had said that his security was withdrawn by the state government a year ago on the recommendation of Tarn Taran police.    

The Tarn Taran braveheart had featured in some documentaries. Inspired by Sandhu and his family, many people followed him and defended themselves from terror attacks. He was awarded Shaurya Chakra in 1993. 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condoled Sandhu’s death and said that SIT will probe the killing, taking all possibilities into account.