“HE WAS well-built and strong. But they killed him when he was asleep. Had he been awake, he would not have let the thieves escape. He would have caught them,” said Shubhanshu’s father, Jagdish Verma, as he sat in the Civil Hospital, Kalka while the post-mortem of the body was under way.
A large number of people, local jewellers and mostly youths — Shubhanshu’s friends — had reached the hospital after they came to know about the incident. The jewellery shop, ‘Som Nath Jagdish Raj Verma’ where the incident took place is among the oldest shops in the area and was taken on rent by Verma’s father from a Shimla-based
One of the family members remained in the shop every night.
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Since Verma was diagnosed with a heart problem, Shubhanshu took charge and started remaining in the shop during night hours. On the night of the incident, Shubhanshu had left for the shop at 11 pm after having dinner at his house, around 1 km away from the shop. He was awake till midnight, when he wished one of his friends on his birthday through a text message.
The younger of two sons of Jagdish Verma, Shubhanshu had recently completed his Class XII from and began assisting his father in the business at the shop, along with his elder brother Shubham, 22.
His friends recalled him as a jovial person. “He was friendly with everyone who met him,” said Divij, a friend.
Manik, who was his classmate in school, recalls, “He enjoyed playing football and cricket. But he would always say he wanted to be a businessman and so he had also started helping his father in the shop.”