With the death of 25-year-old Neha Sharma, the four-member family in Patiala’s Gobind Bagh has lost its sole bread-earner. Sharma died in police firing at a checkpoint set up after Sunday’s Nabha jailbreak.
The Punjab Police had fired 3 shots at an allegedly “speeding” Swift Dzire from front, out of which two hit her. She was to perform at a Haryana town that night when the incident occurred. Sharma had taken a loan of Rs 10 lakh for their house and had promised to present a motorcycle to her younger brother Manthan Sharma(16) on his 18th birthday.
Earning around Rs 30,000 per month, the family is now clueless how they would pay back the loan. Only four months ago, they had shifted to the new house though the kitchen and bathroom are still under construction.
Her father died 15 years ago and elder brother Karan(26) is jobless. Due to their poor financial condition, Sharma did not continue with her studies after Class 12 and joined Armaan Entertainment Group, which performs at marriage functions.
“She had a dream of having a house. She was paying the installments of the loan she had taken. She wanted to install a modular kitchen,” said the mother of the deceased Neelam Sharma.
When she turned 25 on October 18, her mother wanted her to get married but she wanted her brothers to get settled.
“Neha took family responsibility at a young age and never complained about anything. She had sacrificed a lot for us,” said Karan, the elder brother.
Sarvjit Singh, proprietor of Armaan Entertainment Group, recalled Neha as most dedicated member of the group. “She would always worry about her family. All her earnings went for the betterment of the family,” said Sarvjit, who was driving the car when the police opened fired. Claiming that they did not try to escape after breaking the barricade, he said, “Had we made an attempt to escape, cops would have shot us from behind.” He also alleged that the police were trying to put pressure on them. According to the family, Patiala Deputy Commissioner Ram Vir Singh visited them and promised a government job for Karan. When contacted, the DC refused to comment on the job offer.