A suspected terrorist opened fire at the railway station here on Tuesday, killing a vendor and injuring two Government Railway Police (GRP) head constables when they tried to check his luggage, police said.

The firing took place when the two GRP constables of the Narcotics cell tried to check the bag of the suspected terrorist aboard the Jammu-bound Jhelum Express which arrived from Pune around 3.30 am at platform No. 4 of the railway station. It was believed that the suspected terrorist and the woman had arrived from Nanded after boarding the train at Manmad in Maharashtra.

The gunaman, identified as Balbir Singh Bhootna, immediately got down and hid himself under a compartment of the Jhelum Express and opened fire at the police who retaliated from near the compartment.

“Bhootna was arrested after an exchange of fire which lasted around one hour,” Ludhiana Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sukhchain Singh told PTI. Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Railway Chander Shekhar said that Bhootna was a resident of Mauli Wala village in Ferozepur district.

Bhootna had fired from a .9mm pistol which is in police custody, the ADGP said, without giving details of his group affiliation as it would hamper the investigations. Bhootna had been declared a Proclaimed Offender after a case of recovery of arms and ammunition in Jalandhar district about three years back, police said.

A woman accompanying the suspected terrorist, has also been taken into custody, Singh said.

The vendor was killed on the spot during the exchange of fire, GRP Superintendent of Police S.J.P. Sharma said. The police was also trying to ascertain the identity of the lady accompanying him and her relationship with Bhootna, he added.

The two injured head constables have been identified as Karanpal Singh and Naranjan Singh.

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