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‘Tailor Uncle And Uma Amma Hit Us, Killed My Mother’: Seven-Year-Old Sole Eyewitness To The Shocking Ghaziabad Triple Murder

Author: Swati Goel Sharma and Sanjeev Newar
Publication: Swarajyamag.com
Date: February 26, 2021
URL:      https://swarajyamag.com/politics/tailor-uncle-and-uma-amma-hit-us-killed-my-mother-seven-year-old-sole-eyewitness-to-the-shocking-ghaziabad-triple-murder?s=03

A woman, Dolly, her nine-year-old daughter Meenakshi and a neighbouring girl Anshu were killed in an attack carried out by a relative of Dolly, Uma, with a male friend, Mohammad Sonu Ali, on 6 February.

Around 8.30 pm on 6 February, Lokman Singh returned home from his shop in Ghaziabad’s busy Chaupla market and rang the doorbell of his house in Saraswati Vihar. For a few minutes, he waited for his daughter-in-law Dolly to come downstairs and open the gate.

He then realised the gate was unlatched. He pushed it open and entered, but found no one on the ground floor. Upstairs, he got the shock of his life.

Dolly lay unconscious on the floor in a pool of blood. His three grandchildren and a neighbouring girl lay near her, all soaked in blood.

One of the children – seven-year-old girl Durga (name changed to protect identity) – got up and rushed towards him. “Tailor uncle ne maara. Uma amma ne bhi maara (tailor uncle hit us. Uma amma also hit us),” the girl told him, as per Singh.

Uma is a relative of Dolly.

“Rishte mein chachi lagti hai. Umra 35-36 hai but bacche amma bulate hain (Uma is Dolly’s aunt. She is 35-36 years of age, but kids calls her amma because of the relation),” says Singh.

“She had come to my shop a couple of days ago to inquire about my recent house deal. I did not suspect anything. I enthusiastically told her everything. I even offered to show her the house we have bought.”

The attack on 6 February left three people killed – Dolly, her nine-year-old daughter Meenakshi and a 15-year-old neighbouring girl Anshu, who gave private tuitions to Dolly’s children.

The sole eyewitness in the case is Durga. The killers had left assuming all five to be dead. “Ye hamare liye Devi ka swaroop hai (she is goddess incarnate for us),” says Singh.

The “tailor uncle” has been identified as Mohammad Sonu Ali. He and his sister Ruby run a tailoring shop in Lohia Nagar, where the Singh family lived until four months ago. Dolly was a frequent client of Ruby and knew Sonu by face. The children knew him as “tailor uncle”.
Uma is Dolly’s only relative in Ghaziabad from her side of the family, and thus the two bonded well. That Sonu and Uma were close friends was unknown to the Singh family until the attack.

Dolly’s husband Mahesh, 31, says he did not know Sonu’s full name. “With names like Sonu and Ruby, how can anyone make out? If I had known, I would have alerted my wife in time,” he says bitterly.

Mahesh believes that Uma, though always of suspicious character, would not have dared to take the extreme step if not for someone like Sonu Ali.

Lokman Singh says, “Some time ago, we heard from someone that Uma is not of good character, you know. We already knew his husband to be a good-for-nothing drunkard. Dolly knew we don’t like Uma, so whenever she visited Dolly, it was behind our back,” he says.

When these correspondents visited the Singh family this week, a team of local police, including the station house officer (SHO) of Masuri police station, was present. SHO Raghavendra Singh was recording Durga’s statement on a mobile phone.

The girl said that Uma and Sonu had come on a 'scooty'. Within minutes, Sonu took out a pistol from his pocket and ordered Dolly to bring out cash from the locker.

When Dolly denied having any cash on her, he shot Anshu.

He then brought a screwdriver, a knife and a grinding stone (silbatta) from the kitchen, and proceeded to attack the children.

Uma dashed towards the almirah while Sonu beat up the children with the kitchen tools. Emerging out of the room that had the almirah, Uma also joined in attacking the children.

The child, with heavy bandage around her neck, further said that Sonu pushed the screwdriver into Meenakshi’s throat several times and hit her face against the grinding stone repeatedly.

Durga is a student of Class 3 while his young brother, who also survived the attack, has not started going to school yet. He is four.

The case hangs on the girl’s testimony, a policeman told Lokman Singh, who repeated to the girl, “You are like Devi for us.”

Lokman Singh migrated from Uttar Pradesh’s Agra district to Ghaziabad about 25 years ago, in search of work.

He set up a cart to sell kanji vadas as street snack in the popular Chaupla market. Today, ‘Manmohan Mathura wale Kanji vade’ is quite a popular shop in the city. He lived in nearby Lohia Nagar for many years, before shifting to Saraswati Vihar four months ago.

“We thought it is a safe area. Neighbours say they have not seen even a needle being picked up in all these years,” says Singh, and proceeds to add, “But then, what can one do if own family stoops to this level. Who can trust relatives now?”

Singh lost his wife 20 years ago to heart attack. He got his elder son Mahesh married early.

“I was only 21 when I got married. The family needed a woman after the death of my mother,” says Mahesh. “We have again lost a woman. I am left with two kids.”

SHO Singh told these correspondents that prima facie involvement of Uma’s husband Harish has come to light during investigation.

“We can’t comment much, but he has been found to be part of the conspiracy for the murders,” he said.

“During interrogation, Harish kept saying he was in Kosi Kalan. When he brought it up repeatedly, we suspected something was amiss, probably he had planned his trip to Kosi Kalan to coincide with the attack. Later, he confessed to his involvement,” said SHO Singh.

A family member of the Singh family said that they have learnt from their old neighbours in Lohia Nagar that Uma, Harish and Sonu Ali had entered into in a “strange” relationship, where Harish did not object to an affair between Uma and Sonu.

These correspondents have not been able to access a photograph of Sonu Ali yet. A video of Uma, on the other hand, was released by the police after her arrest confessing to the crime. “That evil woman showed no remorse,”said Mahesh.

The police officer said that Sonu Ali had planned to shoot all the inmates dead, but his country-made pistol got jammed.

Uma had inquired from Lokman Singh about the time the men are away from home for work. “They only had a short 30-minute window in the evening to carry out the crime. This is why they left the spot in a hurry,” he said.

A neighbour said she did not hear anything as the music system inside the Singh house was at quite a high volume.

The FIR registered at Masuri police station in the case the same night (number 0054/2021), on the complaint by Mahesh, names no suspects. The police booked unidentified accused under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder).

When Lokman Singh discovered the blood-soaked bodies in the house, he immediately raised an alarm, prompting a neighbour to come to his help.

Mahesh arrived home soon after. The men took the bodies to MMG district government hospital. On getting a medical certificate from the doctor, the family rushed the bodies to a private hospital for treatment. Dolly and Anshu were declared brought dead. Meenakshi died in the hospital two days later.

Based on Durga’s statement in the hospital, Uma and Sonu were arrested the same night.

The family says they do not yet know the amount of cash and jewellery stolen. When asked, SHO Singh said that “maximum recovery” had been made. However, he declined to disclose the amount saying he could not reveal that to the media.

“Kadi se kadi saza ho (we demand the strictest punishment to the killers),” Lokman Singh said to SHO Singh.

Mahesh told these correspondents that they have received no monetary help from the government.

Mahesh volunteers for several Hindu activist groups including Agniveer and Bajrang Dal.

 

 
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