A teenaged girl shot herself dead with her father's revolver at her Saraswati Vihar home on Tuesday –– another casualty of increasingly careless handling of firearms by parents. Tanvi Dhamija, 17, was possibly scared of a poor showing in her Class XI final exam, police said.
She took her father's loaded revolver, kept in an unlocked cupboard in their bedroom, and shot herself in the temple. Her parents and brother were in another room. She did not leave behind a suicide note. The incident occured at 8.30 am.
Tanvi's father SR Dhamija owns farmlands in Bhuna village of Haryana. His revolver had an all-India licence stamped from Haryana.
Tanvi used to study in Darbari Lal DAV Model School, Pitampura. Her school authorities had summoned her parents to the school on Tuesday to discuss her performance. Harish, a relative, said her parents were getting ready for the meeting when the girl shot herself. "Tanvi's final exam result was to be declared on March 7. The school authorities had summoned her parents over the phone to discuss something about her performance," he said.
Maneesh Aggarwal, DCP (northwest), said Tanvi most likely feared she would not clear the exams and was depressed.
The correspondent visited the school but the principal could not be contacted.
"She was so cheerful that you could forget all your worries in her company," said Ramesh Lamba, Tanvi's landlord. But no one in the Dhamija household was smiling, probably because their favourite child was not around to cheer them up.
"We cannot believe this. An academic problem, no matter how serious, should not lead to such disastrous consequences," said Lamba.
Tanvi's journey from a small village to the prosperous national Capital was certainly not supposed to end this way.
Tanvi's brother Ashish began a business in Karol Bagh a few years back and the family decided to move to Delhi two years ago, said Harish, a relative.
"Tanvi's parents shifted to the Shakti Vihar house in Saraswati Vihar last year in order to provide Tanvi better exposure to city life. Her parents used to shuttle between their native village and Delhi," said Harish.
"They were getting ready when they heard a gunshot and found Tanvi lying in a pool of blood. Their landlord phoned me and we informed the police," said Harish.
Tanvi's mother probably spoke to her last. Their landlord Lamba said Tanvi's mother asked her to get ready. "Tanvi replied that she would be ready. The next thing they heard was a gunshot," said Lamba.
That easy access to firearms at home could prove costly for the family was first reflected in the Gurgaon school shooting case in December last year. A class VIII student had taken his father's pistol –– kept casually in a TV trolley –– to school. He and his friend allegedly used the gun to kill a classmate.