The Inside Story
BATHINDA: The mysterious killing of a 45-year-old woman here on the evening of Karva Chauth could easily come in the category of freak murder.

Claiming to have solved the case, police on Tuesday arrested Shaganpreet Singh, 25, on charges of gunning down a woman from a distance of around 300 metres.

According to police, Shaganpreet was gun-practicing from the roof of his second floor house situated in Gagan Nagar and a bullet fired by him travelled 300 meters and hit Santosh Kumari on November 2 evening. Sitting in a chair, surrounded by about 45 other women, who had gathered to celebrate Karva Chauth on the fourth floor open air restaurant of a hotel, Santosh Kumari was hit in the head with a bullet that seemed to have come from nowhere. The bullet got stuck in the skull and Santosh died on the spot.

Shaganpreet, who is pursuing BCom privately, had bought the .315 bore rifle for Rs 52,000 from Bathinda-based Kapoor Gun House the same day at around 4 pm.

After purchasing the rifle, Shaganpreet went home and reached the roof of his house to test the weapon at around 5.15 pm, the same time the women had started gathering at the rooftop of hotel BR Inn, situated on the backside of his house. He fired five bullets in air one of which hit the victim, police said.

"After one of the bullets got stuck in the barrel of rifle, Shaganpreet again went to the gun house, had his rifle checked and then went to his relative's house in Bhuccho Mandi, unaware that he had just killed a woman," said Bathinda SP, R C Brar.

"We studied the bullet's trajectory and after downloading the map of the area, came to a conclusion that it couldn't have been fired from more than a distance of 300 meters," said Brar. Police had also recreated the murder scene to get an idea about the bullet's trajectory.

Shaganpreet was arrested after police got a tip-off from Kapoor Gun House that he had bought a rifle on the day of murder. The weapon has been recovered from Shaganpreet and a case under sections of 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 336 (endangering life) of IPC has been registered, police said.

Santosh Kumari, an employee of Military Engineering Service, was a resident of Patel Nagar and is survived by a son, daughter and husband.

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