Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Not even a murmur on Neha Shourie from Lutyens Media

The killing of Punjab’s Food and Drug Administration woman officer Ms Neha Shourie in her office in Kharar, in Mohali district of Punjab recently has sent shockwaves in Punjab’s political and administrative circles. The murder raises serious concerns about the deteriorating law and order conditions in the state.

Last Friday, while Neha Shourie, 36, was with her 6 year old niece Aarahya in her office, she was shot  thrice by Balwinder Singh with his .32 bore licensed revolver. The bullets hit her temple, chest and shoulder and she is said to have died on the spot. The act of aggression was a cold-blooded murder as the killer shouted “Holi Hai” to the victim, before killing. Later, he tried to flee but was held by people at the gate of the office. After failing to scare people with his revolver and finding himself trapped, he shot himself in the chest.

Neha Shourie was known to be an upright and honest officer and had cancelled the pharmacy license of Balwinder Singh in 2009, in Morinda, where some banned drugs were raided.  It is learnt that she was going to depose in a court case against Balwinder Singh.

Meanwhile, Punjab CM Amrinder Singh has ordered an inquiry into the matter. However the matter has hotted up in Punjab. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has accused the State government of falling law and order situation in the state.  Shiromani Akali Dal president and former Punjab CM Sukhbir Singh Badal accused the Congress government in the State of having failed to protect its own officers. “The drug menace in the State today is far more grave than it ever was at any stage during the SAD-BJP government,” said Mr. Badal.

Sukhchain Singh Khaira, president, Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association, told The Hindu “If a public servant feels threatened about his/her safety and security, then how will they perform their duties? We have decided to demand that the State government immediately take steps to provide protection at offices, especially at the district level, and to employees who are involved directly in public dealings.”

It could not be ascertained whether the killing of Neha Shourie in her Kharar office is a result of well calculated plan of drug cartel in Punjab or an act of vengeance of an individual.

However, the brave lady officer who laid her life protecting the lives of many a youth from this deadly habit of intoxication, needs a voice from various effective political platforms and national media. The murder of Inspector Subodh Kant Singh, a few months back, in Bulandshahr in UP, while trying to calm a mob angered by the reports of cow slaughter, is still fresh in our minds. The whole nation, media and all opposition parties had raised heavens on that tragedy.

However, Neha Shourie seems to be a poor cousin of Inspector Subodh Kant Singh. The chilling silence in national media and intelligentsia seems selective as the tragedy happened in a non-BJP ruled state.

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