Gurugram shooting: More than 40 watched, no one stepped up to help
GURUGRAM: The shooting of the wife and son of an additional sessions judge by the judge’s personal security officer, in one of the busiest markets in the city in broad daylight, has raised several questions on public apathy.
Eyewitness accounts and videos shared on social media showed that passersby were mere spectators to the shooting incident, which left 38-year-old Ritu Sharma and her 18-year-old son, Dhruv, lying in a pool of blood. While Ritu succumbed to her injuries late Saturday night, her son remained critically injured.
As per the videos of the incident, at least 40 people stood by as the head constable attempted to put the unconscious boy into the car. Raj Kumar, an auto driver, said, “I was standing across the road from the spot of the shooting. I was scared because the police officer was pacing back and forth holding a gun.”
One of the eyewitnesses said people were confused and assumed that the police officer had responded to a theft incident.
“I was waiting after parking my car on the other side when I noticed some commotion. I turned around and saw a policeman shooting at a woman who came from the inside. She was screaming. I thought the police officer, in uniform, was chasing a snatcher,” Nisha Singh, a resident of Malibu Town, Sector 47, said. “He (the accused) left the spot for a few minutes before returning to put the boy in the car but people were too shocked to react,” added Singh.
Harish Singh, a service boy of a nearby fast food eatery, said he was smoking at the spot when he saw the policeman take out his revolver and shoot the boy and a woman. “People were scared to intervene because he looked angry and returned after appearing to flee. He had a gun and had fired multiple shots. No one wanted to take a chance on their own lives. The bystanders were waiting for him to leave before helping the victims,” he said.
Sweta Sharma, who works at an MNC, said it seemed that the policeman was looking for another person to shoot at. “He stayed there for a few minutes and was staring at people. Everyone was maintaining a safe distance, scared that he might go rogue,” said Sharma.
“It was only after the accused fled from the spot that people rushed to help out the victims. Three men came forward and took them to a hospital 1.5 kilometres away in an autorickshaw. The accused drove away in front of hundreds of people but no one came forward to catch him,” said a police officer.
Twice in the past, the judge’s family had complained to police about the personal security officer’s odd behaviour. Police officers familiar with the probe said the accused, during questioning, told police he was suffering from depression and was mentally disturbed because of certain menial household chores that his family members had asked him to do.
DCP (crime) Sumit Kuhar said the accused had converted to Christianity five days ago. “He had been watching some videos on religion for couple of months. He has been changing his statements repeatedly,” he said.
Ritu Sharma (38) and Dhruv Sharma (18) leave from Vatika City for Arcadia market. PSO Mahipal Singh is driving the car 3:20pm Passersby see Dhruv moving his hand. Ritu is also semi-conscious. They then call the police control room. Ritu later succumbs to injuries 3:15pm They reach the market, which is 3.5km from their home. Ritu goes inside the market complex to buy medicines. When she returns at 3:18pm, she sees Mahipal Singh shoot Dhruv. She shouts to stop the armed constable. When Mahipal hears her scream, he shoots her too. Mahipal then tries to put the bodies in the car, but fails and drives away 3:25pm Passersby take the mother-son duo to hospital in autos 5:30pm Police arrest Mahipal Singh from Gwal Pahari area.
3pm Mahipal calls judge to say, “I have shot your wife and son.”