At Sultanpur Dabas village in Bawana, a sleepy hamlet around 35 km from the capital, villagers were shocked after witnessing a shootout in broad daylight in which two brothers — Sahab and Kaptan Singh — were killed. Many villagers claimed to have seen the violent shoot-out but none came forward to give their statement to police.
In the past few days, the bereaved family had been busy with the arrangements of a marriage early next week. Hours after the shoot-out, police officers were spotted walking around the village cautiously. They had been trying to keep away from the mob that damaged a police motorcycle.
In the evening, more police personnel were sent to the village after residents assaulted the beat officer, accusing him of favouring one of the accused.
Inside the house, the two women who had lost their husbands wept endlessly, while other relatives shouted “justice” in front of the numerous television cameras at their house. Lal Singh (65), father of the two who were killed, said he was worried about the future of his family. “I am too old to work and I only had my sons to take care of me. Who will look after my grandchildren? My sons have been taken away from me,” he said.
Singh, who is an eyewitness, said all the accused were armed. “Sahab came to visit me this morning before leaving for work. He used to come to meet me every morning. When I saw those men murder my two sons, I told them to murder me too but they left the spot,” he said.
At a nearby building, the village heads were heard discussing how some of the villagers had brought ill repute to the village. “We are farmers and have been staying here for many decades. Our village is peaceful but some of residents have become criminals. Usually they commit crimes elsewhere. This is the first time an incident like this has taken place here,” Sahib Singh, a village head, said.