Chandigarh: Senior Punjab RSS leader Brigadier (retd) Jagdish Gagneja, shot thrice by two men in Jalandhar last month, succumbed to his injuries at a Ludhiana hospital on Thursday, his family said.
The critically injured Gagneja was shifted to the Hero DMC Heart Institute (DMCH) in Ludhiana from a private hospital in Jalandhar last month.
He was cremated in his hometown Jalandhar. The cremation was attended among others by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and his cabinet colleagues, including BJP ministers.
“His blood pressure fell drastically this (Thursday) morning and he was declared dead at 9.15 a.m.,” a family member told IANS.
Gagneja was senior vice president of the Punjab unit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Expressing grief, Sukhbir Badal said: “I join Punjabis in mourning the passing away of senior RSS leader Gagneja who has fallen victim to anti-national forces bent on disturbing peace and communal harmony in Punjab.
“Brig Gagneja fought like a true soldier to the very end. Let us pledge today that we will not allow his sacrifice to go waste and will take on all anti-Punjab and anti-India forces unitedly,” he said in a statement.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is away to Patna Sahib in connection with the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh.
Describing the attack on Gagneja as a failure of the government to protect the life of people, state Congress chief Amarinder Singh said the BJP-SAD government had lost the moral right to continue as it had no clue as to what was happening in the state.
With the Punjab Police failing to nab the attackers of Gagneja, the state government, hinting at a foreign hand, asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the attack last month.
The police had earlier set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the attack. But they could not make any arrests or unravel the conspiracy behind the attack.
It had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh and a job to anyone providing information on the shooters.