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POSTER WAR: Mangat Ram Sharma’s grandson opens fire, Babu Singh escapes unhurt

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Addl SP Nasir Khan interacting with locals at Kathua on late Saturday night. Congress candidate Babu Singh is also seen in the picture. (Pic Joginder Sharma)

KATHUA: The infighting in Congress, which deprived the once premier national party of coveted Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, surfaced horrendously in Kathua on late Saturday evening when grandson of veteran Congress turned PDP leader fired at the residence of Congress candidate Babu Singh.
Sources told STATE TIMES that the trouble started over the pasting of posters. As Babu Singh-the Congress candidate and Subash Sharma, PDP candidate and son of Pt Mangat Ram Sharma-contesting from the same constituency and residing in the immediate vicinity entered into verbal duel over the issue of posters.
Later, the families started abusing each other while the supporters of former-minister Babu Singh barged into the house of Subash Sharma and allegedly manhandled the women at home including the wife of Subash Sharma.
Nitin Sharma alias Sharu, son of Subash Sharma and his supporters, in a retaliatory move, gate-crashed into the Babu Singh’s house and opened fire. Babu Singh escaped unhurt as the bullet hit the wall.
Nitin later opened air shots threatening the family members of Babu Singh.
Within minutes, Babu Singh and his supporters started protesting over the firing incident and the matter was brought to the notice of police. Police team led by SSP Kathua Pawan Parihar, Addl SP Nasir Khan and Addl DC G. Prsanna reached the spot. Nitin was taken into custody while the weapon of offence seized.
Family members of Nitin also lodged a complaint with the police that Babu Singh and his supporters manhandled the women present at the home. Later, Congress candidate Babu Singh staged a dharna outside the police station late night ,demanding registration of case of attempt to murder against Nitin. While the PDP activists also assembled demanding the registration of FIR against Babu Singh for barging into the house of Subash Sharma, son of former Dy CM Pt Mangat Ram Sharma and manhandling his wife and daughter.
Pt Mangat Ram Sharma, who along with his son Subash Sharma recently joined PDP was at home when the incident took place, police said.
Talking to STATE TIMES, the veteran leader said that he too was hackled in the melee, as the Congress workers went berserk. In 2008, Nitin, grandson of Pt Mangat Ram Sharma was in news for opening fire near Shakuntla Theatre.

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