A popular ragini singer was killed when a reveller resorted to celebratory firing during an event at Nedu village in Uttar Pradesh’s Phalawda region on Wednesday evening. A villager also sustained injuries in the incident.
Jogendra, a popular folk artiste from Muzaffarnagar, was performing at the engagement ceremony of a former village official’s daughter when he was shot. Police said they have identified the accused — Ulakhpur resident Arun — from video footage of the event. A case of murder and illegal possession of arms has been lodged against him.
"We are conducting raids to arrest the accused,” said Meerut zone IG Sujeet Pandey, adding that DGP Javid Ahmad has instructed the police to initiate strict action against people indulging in celebratory firing.
Jogendra, one of the few remaining performers of the otherwise fast-disappearing art form, had brought laurels to his state by winning the first position in an all-India ragini competition held at Kota Khandewala in Haryana last year. His performances had even earned the praise of noted folk singer Satpal Dausa.
The incident occurred during a ceremony held to celebrate the engagement of former Nedu zilla panchayat member Bharatveer’s daughter. Police said the guests were dancing to celebrate the occasion when Arun fired his country-made pistol -- fatally shooting Jogendra in the stomach and injuring Sonu, a resident of nearby Gudumb. The two were rushed to a private hospital in Meerut, where Jogendra was declared dead on arrival.
Recently, Samajwadi Party supporters killed an 11-year-old boy while celebrating the victory of a block pramukh at Kairana town in Shamli district. At least six persons were injured in firing during celebrations in the district over the last nine months.