Shot dead by cousin, kin of deceased kaithal girl look for reasons

An inconsolable couple, living in a small village Pidal of Cheeka town in Kaithal district of Haryana is trying hard to find out the reasons why their 13-year-old daughter was shot dead, allegedly by her cousin, Jagdev.

The girl, Shikha, was shot dead allegedly by Jagdev on Wednesday from point blank range merely a few meters away from her village home while she was on her way to school. Shikha's neighbour and friend, Amandeep Kaur (16), who was accompanying her, also sustained a bullet injury in her arm. While Shikha died on the spot, Amandeep is recuperating in Rajendra Hospital in Patiala.

Shikha was the only daughter of her parents Nanak Singh and Kamlesh Devi. Her elder brother, Sukhdev Singh (15) studies in a school in Kaithal. The village - Pidal, which has a population of around 6,000 people - comprises of around 80 homes of an extended family of the same clan of Khaniyal caste. Shikha, Jagdev and Amandeep, all belong to the same clan and are distant relatives.

Shikha's father Nanak Singh is also having a property dispute with his cousin and Jagdev's father Gurmukh Singh. According to Gurmukh he had disowned Jagdev about two years ago because of his criminal acts. About two years ago, Jagdev had shot at a doctor in Kaithal and was arrested by the Haryana police. He was convicted on charges of attempt to murder and came out of jail after completing his sentence a few months ago. Jagdev's elder brother Sanju was also detained and questioned by the police to ascertain Jagdev's whereabouts.

Though the villagers are not coming out in open to say anything against Jagdev, a few villagers, on condition of anonymity told The India Express that Jagdev had been harassing Shikha, on various occasions earlier. A few days ago, when Shikha was going to her maternal uncle's home in a nearby village, Jagdev followed her and forced her to go with him, to which she refused. "He (Jagdev) is a known criminal. His father disowned him because of his criminal acts.

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