Yet another gruesome murder in broad daylight has slapped the nation on its face. This time, the murderer loudly wished his victim ‘Happy Holi’ after shooting her dead!
Neha Shoree (36) was working as an officer in the Food and Drugs Administration wing of the Punjab government. On Friday, she was shot dead inside her office in Kharar by 50-year-old Balwinder Singh, a former pharmacy owner, whose license she had canceled in 2009.
Back then, Balwinder Singh from Morinda was accused of keeping 35 types of tablets used by drug addicts. When Neha raided his shop, he was unable to provide proper documentation for those tablets. It was then that she canceled his license.
Balwinder reportedly reached the FDA office at 10:30 am on a motorbike. He went where she was, shot her twice (once on her head and another time on her chest), and said, “Happy Holi!” What’s worse, Neha’s 6-year-old niece witnessed the whole incident. She was present in the room when it happened.
Balwinder tried to escape, but he was surrounded by other people near the gate. He thought of scaring them away. However, once he realized that it was impossible to do so, he shot himself in the head.
Neha and his assailant died before they could receive medical support.
Are Government Officials Safe?
All of this has driven the common people to question the safety of the officers who work tirelessly to keep us safe. This particular incident should worry them all the more as the 0.32 bore revolver used in the crime had been licensed this very year. Moreover, it won’t be unnatural for some to keep thinking about how an armed stranger could gain access to his victim’s office—one who was working as the state FDA’s Zonal Licensing Authority.
What could have been possibly gained by such a brutal killing? Many have speculated that Balwinder shot her as he held a grudge against her. Anyway, the assailant did not live long enough to cherish the murder. Neha has left behind a 2-year-old daughter and a husband who works in a bank. Singh is survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son. The vicious game of revenge has done its worst; it has ruined two families.
Her parents have claimed that she was shot dead by the drug mafia. Her colleagues at Kharar laboratory have even expressed fears that they might be next on target after Neha. After all, they work together to expose criminals and that does not please the mafia. They seemed to be concerned about their own security.
Shail Bala Sharma, an assistant town planner, was killed in the same region in 2018. Just like Neha Shoree, she was on duty when she was shot dead.
Jinhe naaz hai hind par…
This incident demonstrates that we are faced with the urgent need to act against miscreants instead of spewing our venom all across social media. The Pulwama terror attack evoked nationwide outrage. People took to the streets and the internet to show their solidarity with the fallen soldiers. Many had even done so by advocating war! Neha Shoree’s murder will lead others to express their anger as well, but how long will this endless cycle of murder and demonstrations be played out before we find a solution to the problem?
Neha Shoree is another name in the list of government officials who have been killed for carrying out their duties with honesty. Satyendra Dubey, Manjunath Shanmugham, and Navleen Kumar are some of the others who have preceded her. This makes us think about a line written and sung by Rabbi Shergill in one of his famous songs where he pays tribute to the three great martyrs: Jinhe naaz hai hind par woh kaha hain (Where are they now who are proud of India?).
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