"Balwinder wanted revenge as he was unable to run his business"
Punjab’s Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) wing officer Dr Neha Shoree was shot dead by a chemist on March 30, 2019.
She was killed by Balwinder Singh, aged 50, at her office in Kharar, 17 kilometres from Chandigarh.
Singh owned a chemist and it is believed that it was an act of revenge after Shoree cancelled the licence of his shop in 2009. He had been selling illegal drugs and she filed a case against him.
SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar said: “In September 2009, Neha was posted as a drug inspector when she raided Singh’s shop.
“During the raid, 35 types of tablets used by drug addicts were recovered and Singh could not produce any supporting documents.
“That was when she cancelled his licence.”
The victim’s six-year-old niece was present at the scene when Singh allegedly shouted “Happy Holi” while shooting Shoree in front of her.
Following the shooting, Singh initially tried to escape but then turned the gun on himself.
A police officer said: “Balwinder wanted revenge as he was unable to run his business because it’s licence had been cancelled by Shoree.
“Singh on Friday went to meet Neha and pumped four bullets at the woman and shouted ‘Happy Holi’.”
“After shooting her, he tried to flee the building. But laboratory attendant Suresh Kumar chased and caught him as he was about to start his motorbike.
“The assailant first tried to shoot at Suresh, but when he fell on the road after the lab assistant dragged the motorcycle back, he shot himself.”
SSP Bhullar explained the gunshot wounds that Shoree suffered in more detail.
“One bullet hit Neha on the temple and another on the chest. Balwinder tried to escape but people blocked him at the gate.
“Finding himself cornered, he took out his revolver and tried to scare them. Then, he shot himself in the chest and the head.”
Both Shoree and Singh were taken to a hospital where they were declared ‘brought dead’.
Even though the police have said it was a case of revenge, the victim’s family has argued that a drug cartel is responsible.
This has led to the police assembling a Special Investigative Team (SIT) to investigate the murder further.
Singh purchased a .32 bore revolver to kill Shoree, however, the licence of the weapon was issued a day after the model code of conduct came into force.
Officers are investigating how Singh was able to buy a weapon and get a licence.
His family were unaware that he had bought a gun for personal security. Harjit Singh, the accused’s brother-in-law explained that he has not been the same since his chemist licence was revoked.
Shoree’s husband Varun Monga has demanded a CBI probe as he does not believe the murder was a simple case of revenge. He said:
“If the motive of the murder is revenge, why did the accused take 10 years to settle the score.
“There is definitely a drug mafia link to this murder as he was not in a position to buy a weapon. We demand a CBI probe.”