Chandigarh, Dec 8: A 39-year-old cloth merchant, who was under police protection, was shot dead by four assailants at Nakodar in Punjab's Jalandhar district, officials said on Thursday. His gunman was also killed, they said.

The cloth merchant was identified as Bhupinder Singh alias Timmy Chawla and the gunman as Mandeep Singh.

The assailants arrived on two bikes and fired at Bhupinder outside his shop on Wednesday evening, the police said. Mandeep, too, received bullet injuries.

Both of them were taken to a civil hospital where Bhupinder was declared dead. Mandeep later succumbed to his injuries, police said. Efforts are on to trace the killers, they added. Sudhir Suri Murder Case: Accused Self-Radicalised, SIT Formed to Carry Out In-Depth Probe in Shiv Sena Leader Death Case.

Bhupinder was given police protection after he received extortion calls from a gangster. He is the third police protectee to be shot dead in a little over a month. Last month, Shiv Sena (Taksali) leader Sudhir Suri was shot dead in Amritsar. Later, Dera Sacha Sauda follower Pardeep Singh was murdered in Faridkot. Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma said Bhupinder was a BJP worker and alleged that law and order situation in the state was deteriorating under the Aam Aadmi Party government.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore to Mandeep's kin for laying down his life in the line of duty.

“Salute to martyr Constable Mandeep Singh who has made the supreme sacrifice in line of duty. Punjab Government Bans Songs Glorifying Weapons, Public Display of Firearms Amid Flak by Opposition Over Deteriorating Law and Order.

Punjab government will make an extra-gratia payment of Rs 1 crore. Another Rs 1 crore insurance payment will be made by HDFC Bank,” the chie minister tweeted. Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav said, “Salute to martyr Ct. Mandeep Singh who has laid down his life in the line of duty. @PunjabPoliceInd will make the perpetrators pay and look after the martyr's family. The chief minister has announced Rs 2 crore ex-gratia and insurance payment."