A woman drug inspector was shot dead by an armed assailant at the Drug & Chemical Testing Laboratory at Kharar near the Punjab capital of Chandigarh on Friday. The attacker, Balwinder Singh, 50, hailed from Morinda near the city and to run a “chemist shop” there. The victim, Dr Neha Shoree, the Zonal Licensing Authority of Food and Drug Administration, had cancelled the licence of the shop in 2009 and was also scheduled to depose in a court case against him on the issue. He wanted to take revenge. After killing Shoree, Singh also pulled the trigger on himself.
Singh, who was wearing a red-coloured jacket, fired four bullets at the 38-year-old woman officer. After the shootout, the man ran out of the building and tried to escape on his motorcycle, which was parked outside. However, Suresh Kumar, a laboratory attendant, chased him and caught hold of the assailant when he was about to start his motorbike. The assailant first tried to shoot at Suresh, but when he fell on the road due to dragging behind of his motorcycle by the latter, he ended up firing at himself, reported The Tribune.
Both Shoree and Singh were rushed to a private hospital nearby, where the officer was declared brought dead while the attacker died on way to PGIMER, Chandigarh. The police said they have recovered the revolver used in the crime and a knife wrapped in a newspaper from Singh.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has directed the DGP for a thorough probe into the incident.
Shoree, was a resident of neighbouring Panchkula and posted as the state FDA’s Zonal Licensing Authority since 2016. The police said Shoree’s six-year-old niece was present in her office in Kharar during the shooting.
According to the police, Singh reached the FDA office on his motorbike around 10.30 am. He entered Shoree’s office, fired two bullets at her and shouted “Happy Holi”.
Mohali SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar told The Indian Express: “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.”
“In September 2009, Neha was posted as a Drug Inspector in Ropar district, 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 document. That was when she cancelled his licence,” said SSP Bhullar. He said Singh obtained an arms licence from the Ropar administration on March 9, and bought the revolver two days later.
Shoree is survived by a two-year-old daughter and husband Varun Monga, who works in a bank, while Singh is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.