The Punjab police on Sunday shot at four women and killed one when they mistook them to be militants who had fled from Nabha jail, reported the Economic Times. The incident reportedly happened around an hour after Khalistan Liberation Force chief Harminder Singh Mintoo and four others had escaped, when armed men clad in police uniforms broke into the prison and fired at the guards.
Neha Sharma and her three friends Soni, Shifali and Simmi, were travelling to their workplace in a car when they were stopped by the police near Dharamhedi village, about 40 km from Nabha jail. When one of the five policemen, who had set up a couple of barricades, asked Sharma’s car to stop, their driver Sarvajit slowed the vehicle. According to Economic Times, he was about to halt in front of the second barricade, but, another officer in civilian clothes opened fire from the front of the vehicle.
“A bullet had pierced her [Neha Sharma] heart and one hit her in the waist,” said Soni. However, no one else in the car was hurt in the shooting. Another person on a motorbike also suffered bullet injuries on his leg from the incident.
While four of the five policemen fled the spot, locals caught hold of one and made him drive Sharma to the hospital where she was declared brought dead. The Patiala senior superintendent of police and district collector visited Sharma’s family on Monday. They said that the guilty officer has been booked for murder and added that it was a mistake made in panic. Besides, Sharma’s brother Karan has been promised a Grade 4 job at a government Suvidha Kendra or railway reservation office. However, no compensation has been offered yet.
An Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Patiala Dr Balbir Singh attended the cremation. “Shouldn’t the Punjab Home Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal offer us at least an apology?” Sharma’s cousin Rajat told the daily. Punjab elections are scheduled to be held next year.