2019 Neha Shoree murder case: Respond to issues raised by parents’ questions, HC tells SIT head - Hindustan Times
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2019 Neha Shoree murder case: Respond to issues raised by parents’ questions, HC tells SIT head

By, Chandigarh
Dec 03, 2023 09:46 AM IST

In March 2019, after killing Neha Shoree, the assailant, Balwinder Singh, 49, a Morinda-based chemist, had shot himself dead with his .32-bore revolver

Over four years after Neha Shoree, zonal licensing authority of Food and Drug Administration, Punjab, was shot dead in Kharar in March 2019, the Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the head of special investigation team (SIT) probing the case to respond to the issues raised by her parents by January 8.

Daughter of 1971 war veteran Captain Kailash Shoree, 36-year-old Neha was shot dead in broad daylight at her office at Kharar on March 29, 2019. (HT Photo)
Daughter of 1971 war veteran Captain Kailash Shoree, 36-year-old Neha was shot dead in broad daylight at her office at Kharar on March 29, 2019. (HT Photo)

Daughter of 1971 war veteran Captain Kailash Shoree, 36-year-old Neha was shot dead in broad daylight at her office at Kharar on March 29, 2019.

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After killing her, the assailant, Balwinder Singh, 49, a Morinda-based chemist, had shot himself dead with his .32-bore revolver.

Singh had been nursing a grudge against Shoree for suspension of his drug licence, as per police claims.

The probe was conducted by Bureau of Investigation (BoI), Punjab, which concluded that no other person except the assailant was found to be responsible for the commission of offences of the present case.

The motive behind the crime was found to be denial of fresh licence to Balwinder’s wife for opening a medical shop, which caused severe hardships to his family, as per the bureau’s report.

SIT filed closure report in 2020

A trial court had accepted the case closure report filed by the SIT in January 2020.

However, Neha’s parents, right from the outset, have been alleging role of drug smugglers behind her murder, which the SIT has ruled out.

Her parents had approached the high court in November 2019, initially seeking completion of the probe, but subsequently demanded that the probe be handed over to CBI or NIA.

The parents say Neha was murdered due to her honest working that made her an eyesore for drug cartels. Before court, they have alleged that the police kept them in the dark regarding the closure report and they also did not get a notice on acceptance of closure report by the court.

“The incident understandably is not one to be lightly glossed over or trivialised and hence investigation by an independent central agency is necessary,” their plea had said.

The HC bench of justice Jasjit Singh Bedi has now sought the SIT head’s response by January 8, as the parents’ lawyer Pardeep Virk asserted that the probe team had not responded to the questions raised by the parents in 2021, following their 2019 petition.

Picking holes in the probe, the parents had termed it “tainted”. Their plea could not be adjudicated on several occasions in 2020-2021 due to the Covid-19 outbreak and later due to workload. As per Virk, the questions by the parents were raised two years after the incident, after obtaining and perusing all relevant records with the prosecution. But remain unrebutted by the SIT even in 2023.

Parents pick holes in SIT probe

Within 30 minutes of murder, in March 2019, an announcement was made that the murder was committed as revenge for an adverse report, but the report was from 2008.

How was a .32-bore revolver procured by the accused? He got arms licence during model code of conduct. Eight officers of different departments signed his application on a single day. There was no record of sale of a .32-bore revolver anywhere. As many as 20 live cartridges were provided to him without any authorisation

Accused worked in Panchkula a few months prior to murder to keep a watch on her movement. This could not have been done alone by him.

The murder took place on March 29, 2019, but forensic examination of the sites (both where Neha and Balwinder died) was done on July 10, 2019, after a delay of 103 days.

Material such as bullets, empty shells, blood samples, etc., collected from the crime scene were sent for forensic analysis on August 7, 2019, after a delay of 131 days.

Mobile phone/laptop data of Neha and mobile data of Balwinder was sent for cyber examination on May 9. Some data got deleted, but it was never probed how.

After murdering Neha, how did the accused fire at himself twice in the head and the chest ?

Police claimed a total of six shots were fired by the accused from the revolver, but Neha had eight firearm injuries. Forensic examination also points to possibility of second weapon used.

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