New Delhi: A local BJP worker was shot dead in outer Delhi’s Pravesh Nagar in Mubarakpur village, on Wednesday evening.
Asharam Gautam (44), a property dealer, was watching TV with his son Dori Lal (7) and daughter Laxmi (4) at his residence, which also served as his office, when the crime occurred. A man entered the room and asked for Asharam. When Asharam responded, the man shot him and escaped on a bike, driven by another man.
“I was observing Karva Chauth fast for my husband. I had gone outside to check if the moon was visible, so I could break my fast. A few minutes later, I heard a gunshot. My son began shouting- Papa ko koi goli maar diya (someone has shot father). So I rushed inside,” said Sunita, Asharam’s 26-year-old wife.
Asharam was shot in the heart, she added. Her mother, who was visiting her, alerted the neighbours. Locals informed police and Asharam was rushed to Sanjay Gandhi hospital in Mangolpuri where he was declared dead on arrival.
A case under section 302 (murder) of the IPC has been registered against unknown persons, at Aman Vihar police station.
Mehrooddin Saifi (35), who knew Asharam for 15 years, alleged that Asharam could have been murdered because he was an eyewitness in the murder of Ghanshyam, one of his neighbours, who was allegedly shot dead by four men during last year’s Diwali.
“Ghanshyam was playing cards with his neighbours when he was shot dead by men who had come in a car. Asharam was also present there at that time. He was an eyewitness in this case. It is possible that he has been shot dead because of it,” said Saini.
DCP (outer) MN Tiwari said investigations were on and all allegations will be verified.
Ram Bharose, Asharam’s elder brother, said Sunita saw a man getting out of the house. But she failed to recognise him as it was dark in the street.
“Sunita told us that the man was tall, well-built and had long hair. He sat pillion on a bike, which was being driven by another man. Both of them went away before the neighbours could reach the spot. It happened very quickly,” said Bharose.
Locals alleged that the street lights had been deliberately switched off. Neighbours said that the only the street lights in block D had gone out, where Asharam lived, while lights in the other blocks were functioning.
Asharam’s office was on the ground floor, while he lived with his wife and three children on the first floor. He had three brothers who lived nearby in the neighbourhood.
Asharam had no enemies, Saifi said. He liked making others laugh and was ready with advise for those who sought his help.
“He was a good man and humble by nature. He liked helping people and did a lot of social work. He resolved conflicts among locals in the colony. He was also very funny. He liked making others laugh,” he said.