Hard times have become even harder for the kin of Rajinder Sharma (45), a resident of Khandwala area, who was shot dead by a mugger in Washington three days ago, as neither the government nor any of its officials in the city have yet visited the bereaved family to take cognizance of their plight.
Not only is the family faced with the dilemma of bringing his body back from the US, but also of sustaining themselves now that their sole breadwinner is gone.
The aggrieved family also wants the government to intervene and urge the US government to investigate Sharma's killing thoroughly. Sharma had migrated to the US four years ago to provide succour to his family (comprising aged parents, his wife and two children) facing financial challenges. Around 12.30 am on Thursday, he was on duty at the department store when a black man accosted him and demanded cash.
He gave him the money but the man still shot him and went away. A customer who dropped in later found the body.
"Three days have passed since the incident, but none of the bureaucrats have visited us though they have offered condolences aplenty. However, what we need more at this moment is help to bring my husband's corpse back and a job to sustain ourselves," said Rajni, wife of Sharma. She averred that a representation had been sent to the officials of the district administration, but they were yet to get a favourable response.
She said that even as candle marches and rallies were being held in the US to protest against her husband's killing, it's the silence of the government that had added to the pain of the family. "It was not his time to go, but even in his death he has highlighted an important fact that Indians are not safe even in a country like the US, where security is usually very high. While US citizens are rarely assigned night shifts, a majority of people working at these shifts there are Indians and they are not safe," she averred.
According to Rajni, her children were very young when they last saw their father four years ago before he left for the US. "Now that he is no more, they want a last look of him. Moreover, we want to conduct his last rites as per our customs. I am completely at a loss as to how to bring my husband's body back as we are financially hard up and do not have the requisite financial resources for this," she said.
Rajni said that despite her husband's job in the US, the family's fortunes were not any better than they were four years ago. "His untimely death has brought us back to square one. We are where we were four years ago -- sans money, a decent life and now with his death even hopes of our fortunes getting better have begun to grow dimmer. I urge the government to arrange a job for me so that I can sustain my family," she said.