A wedding celebration turned into a tragedy after a nine-year-old boy was shot by an inebriated guest during random celebratory firing on Thursday night.
The accused along with his associate had fired as many as 35 bullets from two double barrel guns of 12 bore, sources said.
The incident took place around 11 pm at a barat ghar in Kharkhadi Jatmal village in southwest Delhi. The deceased was identified as Shivam, a class 5 student who lived with his parents and two sisters in Nangloi. Shivam had come to attend the wedding ceremony of his cousin, Sonam.
Police have arrested the accused, identified as Satish Kumar from Rohtak, and his associate Praveen Kumar, a resident of Gopal Nagar in Nazafgarh, Delhi. Satish runs a mobile repair shop in Rohtak.
A case has been registered at Jaffarpur Kalan police station against them and both the guns, one of them unlicensed, have been seized.
AK Ojha, DCP (southwest), said the matter came to their notice after the victim’s father Prem Chand lodged a murder complaint.
“The entire ceremony was going on at the barat ghar. The accused were dancing and firing randomly in the air during the barat procession. Many people had tried to stop them, but they gave no heed to their warnings. During jaimala ceremony, the two came on the stage to congratulate the bride and bridegroom and again started firing in the air. In the process, a bullet hit the neck of the child and he died on the spot,” said Ojha.
The two were arrested from their hideout in Bahadurgarh.
Inder Singh, an eyewitness said the duo, immediately after the incident, scaled the wall of the barat ghar, and disappeared.
“We had tried to stop them from firing in such an indiscriminate way several times. But instead of listening to our requests, they were threatening us with dire consequences. After the incident, the atmosphere changed from that of celebration to mourning,” said Singh.
Asked whether or not the wedding ceremony concluded after the tragedy, Shashi Kumar, the bride’s relative said, “Most of the guests from the bride’s side left the venue after the incident. Immediately after the Jaimala ceremony, we sent Sonam with the groom and his family members without even concluding other wedding rituals.”