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Sudhir Suri Shot Dead During Protest Outside Temple, Cause of Death

BY Anas Shah Nov 04, 2022. 01:49 pm UPDATED: Nov 04, 2022. 01:49 pm

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Despite having more than a dozen police officers surrounding him, Sudhir Suri, a leader of the right-wing Hindutva movement in Punjab, was shot and killed this afternoon on a major street in Amritsar. The attack was caught on camera.

In a demonstration against the management of a temple, Mr. Suri, the leader of a local group going by the name Shiv Sena Taksali, was shot at least five times with a pistol, purportedly by a nearby shopkeeper.

Even though Mr. Suri was under the protection of 12 police officers and had local police officers stationed nearby, the attacker, Sandeep Singh, who has since been apprehended, was able to kill him with at least two rounds before he could be taken to the hospital. Arun Pal Singh, chief commissioner of the city police, stated that “the weapon has been recovered and further investigation is underway” without providing any other information regarding the attacker’s motivation.

According to sources, the attacker arrived at the scene in an SUV with three other people, but they managed to flee.

Mr. Suri, who didn’t participate in the election, was most known for his venomous and allegedly racist social media video remarks directed against some Sikh organisations and Khalistan supporters in particular. Police have not yet made a connection.

The police commissioner urged the populace to maintain their composure and resist any cries from the crowd. Residents of the Sikh holy city were exchanging tense messages and conspiracies, according to local reports.

Earlier today, Mr. Suri got into a fight over alleged idol sacrilege with several guys from the administration of Gopal Mandir along Majitha Road, one of the busiest areas in the city. Just before the attack, he was broadcasting live on Facebook and displayed some older idols that had been “shamelessly discarded in garbage.” In that video, he declared, “We would not allow such desecration, even if committed by fellow Hindus.”

He was shot while on a street dharna, sitting next to a friend who was spotted retaliating against the assailant with a handgun.

The murder came shortly after the May murder of singer Sidhu Moosewala, another notable figure who had police protection, raising doubts about Bhagwant Mann’s Aam Aadmi Party government, which was established in March.

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Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma was among the first leaders to react: “The law and order situation has completely broken down in the state.”

State Congress chief Amarinder Singh ‘Raja’ Warring tweeted: “Law and order is deteriorating and going from bad to worse. Congress condemns murderous attack on Shiv Sena leader in Amritsar. Political differences apart, violence is unacceptable. Culprits must be brought to book.”

The murder of Sudhi Suri also brought to mind a string of assassinations of right-wing or religious figures, the most of them belonged to Hinduva organisations, in 2016 and 2017, when the Akali Dal-BJP and the Congress held alternate periods of power.

Assassinating 60-year-old RSS leader Ravinder Gosain in October 2017 marked the ninth such occurrence to occur in the state in roughly a year. In June 2017, a series of shootings claimed the lives of several people, including the Christian pastor Sultan Masih, supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda in Ludhiana, the head of an organisation named “Hindu Takhat” in Ludhiana, and RSS leader Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (Retd) in Jalandhar.

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