At 10 pm Wednesday, Vinod Verma (23) last spoke to his brother Akash about a chilled glass of lassi and dinner that the two brothers would have together.
“Akash said he will be home in five-seven minutes… he never came back. I called him till 3 am, but no one took the call,” said Vinod.
Minutes after the call, Akash (21) was shot dead, allegedly by six men who first targeted their ‘rival’ Govind Bhati (28).
“My brother was at the wrong place at the wrong time… what did he do to deserve this? I believe the accused shot him dead as they mistook him to be their rival’s accomplice,” said Vinod.
When Akash didn’t get home, Vinod began calling him incessantly and didn’t stop till police officers reached their home in Shahdara’s Ashok Nagar at 4 am.
“I went out and looked for him, I reached out to his friends but didn’t find anything… I feared something was wrong but never imagined he would be dead. Police came home and asked me to come to the station. There I found out Akash had been shot dead,” said Vinod.
Akash, who worked with a shoe distributor in Seelampur, had stepped out around 8.30 pm on Wednesday and went for a walk with his colleague.
“He only had a glass of water and promised to be home in 30 minutes, as the family has dinner together every night. He dropped his colleague home and was killed on his way back,” said Vinod.
Akash is survived by his mother and two siblings. He earned Rs 9,000 a month.
“I also work in a shoe store in Ashok Nagar and both of us recently decided to save money so we could start our own shoe business early next year,” said Vinod.
“He was young, he had plans… of getting our sister educated and married,” he added.