Sitting on her cousin’s lap, 12-year-old Sehaj recalls the moment her father, Rupesh Kumar Basoya, was shot in his chest in front of her eyes. She says she was playing ‘pitthu’ with her brother Aditya (14), and her father was watching them. “We were playing when papa came outside. My mother was cooking inside. That’s when two men came, hurling abusing. Papa ne bola gaali mat do, toh goli maar di,” said Sehaj.
She said her father had promised her a “big gift” for her birthday in December.
For now, the family is inconsolable. Rupesh’s cousin Mahesh said he sold arts supplies, and interacted with many artists as a result. “Even Rupesh had learned how to sketch. Some, he gifted to his friends,” said Mahesh.
He said Rupesh would often drop his neighbours’ children to school on his motorcycle. He added that four years ago, Rupesh had objected to drug addicts coming to buy drugs in the locality, and had been stabbed in a fight.