Jalandhar: Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) Punjab coordinator and Jalandhar unit president Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (retd), who was shot at by unidentified assailants last month, was cremated at Ram Bagh cremation ground at 4 pm, which was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Minister of State and BJP Punjab President Vijay Sampla.
The RSS leader’s body was brought to Jalandhar from Hero DMC in Ludhiana at around 3:30 pm.
Before the last prayers were held, the RSS workers performed ‘Sangh Prarthana’ (RSS Prayer) on the cremation ground premises. The RSS workers recited the prayer in chorus, expressing condolences at the demise of Brig Gagneja. Earlier, a contingent of Army from Jalandhar Cantonment also laid wreath and paid floral tributes. Besides, a host of social dignitaries, many retired Army officers had also turned up in large numbers.
SAD-BJP, Congress and RSS leaders including its Punjab chief Brij Bhushan Bedi were also present.
Interacting with the media, Bedi said, “We would take up the issue of time-bound inquiry by the CBI. It is a huge loss for us and the society.” Notably, all those present at the cremation expressed displeasure at the slow pace of probe, first by the police and then the CBI in the case.
In the morning, as soon as the news reached, a pall of gloom descended on the house of Brig Gagneja, as who’s who from the political field rushed in to offer condolences. Brig Gagneja’s wife Sudesh Gagneja was inconsolable while his two daughters and a son, who is a serving Major in the Army, were left shattered at the sudden loss.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was also constituted to probe the case while Rs 10 lakh award was also announced by the police for anybody, who informed the police about the killers. Though the police have put up posters of the CCTV footage showing the video grab of two motorcycle-borne youth across the city but it failed to yield any results.
Among those who offered condolences included BJP MLA Navjot Kaur Sidhu, Manoranjan Kalia, K D Bhandari, Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani, Jalandhar MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh, SAD MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu, YAD leader Sarabjot Singh Sabi, BJP leaders Rakesh Rathore, Mahinder Bhagat, CM Advisor Tikshan Sood, ex-BJP Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Mayor Sunil Jyoti and others.
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