A 70-year-old president of a gurdwara in West Delhi was shot dead Monday evening outside his house by two men on a bike. The incident took place at 5.20 pm, when Aatam Singh had just stepped out of his Santro car outside his Vikaspuri home.
DCP (West) Deepak Purohit said, “He received a bullet injury to his head and was rushed to Sehgal Hospital by his son, where he was declared dead on arrival.”
The incident was captured on CCTV, and a 38-second video surfaced in which two men, wearing helmets, park their bike next to a car. The pillion rider walks up to the car, and the moment Singh steps out, he is shot at and can be seen falling down. The accused then walks back to the bike, hands over the weapon to his accomplice, walks near the car for a few seconds, before sitting on the bike.
DCP Purohit said, “The duo escaped after firing at Singh. A case under IPC sections of murder and relevant sections of the Arms Act has been registered at Vikaspuri police station. Efforts are on to identify and nab them.”
Singh, a sewadar and president of the Gurdwara Guru Hargovind Sahib Anandpur Dham in Karala, had driven home from the premises in the evening when the incident took place.
The DCP and Singh’s family members confirmed that the victim also dealt with property sale.
Purohit said, “He did sale and purchase of property near the gurdwara and some of his recent deals are being looked into.”
Singh was an Afghani refugee who moved to India in 1992 when the Civil War broke out in Afghanistan. During the civil war, seven out of eight gurdwaras in Kabul were destroyed, forcing many Sikh families to escape from there – Singh was one of them. The victim’s elder brother Tara Singh (80) said he used to run a grocery shop in Afghanistan.
Father of five children, his Vikaspuri house was shrouded in grief and shock a day after his murder. His granddaughter Surpal Kaur (27) told The Indian Express, “We did not see or hear anything. When we went out, we found him lying outside the house near his car… he was dead. My uncle (his son) Kulpeed rushed him to the hospital. We have no idea who did this or why.”
Minutes before he was shot dead, Singh had called his wife and asked her to keep hot water ready for his bath, said a family member. His nephew Manmohan said Singh “had no enemies, he was kind and well-respected in the colony and gurdwara… We don’t understand why someone would do this.”
Inderjit Singh Monty, member of the Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, said, “He did not stop helping others even during the lockdown, despite his age. He would give ration to the needy and help prepare langar at the gurdwara daily.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines