Haryanvi singer Harshita Dahiya was shot dead by unidentified assailants at Chamrara village in Haryana‘s Panipat district on Tuesday, 17 October, police said. The Panipat police has launched a formal investigation into the matter.
Three bullets were recovered from Dahiya’s body during the post-mortem – two from the head and one from the chest, Dr Rajeev Maan said. The body was then handed over to the family.
On Wednesday, 18 October, Lata Dahiya, the sister of the deceased, alleged that her husband, Dinesh, had gotten Harshita killed. She told ANI:
She (Harshita) was killed by my husband (Dinesh) because she was a witness in my mother’s murder case
“Shot in the Head”
The 22-year-old singer was shot when she was on her way back home in a car at around 4 pm after a performance at a function in the village, police said. “When she was returning, a black car overtook her vehicle near Chamrara and forced it to stop,” Desh Raj, Panipat Deputy Superintendent of Police told reporters.
He said two unidentified men asked the singer’s assistants and driver to step out of the vehicle. The assailants then fired seven bullets, six of which hit Harshita on the forehead and neck, killing her on the spot, police said, adding that the accused fled the scene after the murder.
“They did not target anybody except Harshita. As of now, there is no clarity on the exact number of the assailants. We have got some clues and we are working on them,” the DSP was quoted as saying.
“A team has been formed and the investigation is underway… We will slowly get to the bottom of it,” the DSP said.
Haryana police denied any political or professional enmity behind Dahiya’s murder. The police is going through the deceased singer’s social media posts to examine other possible angles.
Three dance troop members, who left the venue with Dahiya, on Tuesday, are with the police and are cooperating in the investigation.
Haryana police said it has never received any threat complaints from the deceased, and it is now checking with the Delhi police.
When news of the murder came to light, The Indian Express quoted Panipat Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma as saying that the police suspect Harshita’s brother-in-law, Dinesh, of having played a role in the murder.
Dinesh is currently lodged in Haryana’s Jhajjar jail. “Earlier, she had accused him of raping her. Dinesh is also accused in the murder of her mother. Harshita was a witness in that case. But we are not ruling out other theories,” Sharma told the daily.
Harshita’s cousin, Ravinder Kadyan, said Dinesh killed Dahiya’s mother because she witnessed Dinesh raping Harshita.
Dinesh abducted and raped Harshita in 2014. When her mother was about to appear as the prime eyewitness, she was killed inside the family’s house in Delhi.
When The Quint reached house number 352, in Gali number 10 of Swatantra Nagar locality of Narela in north-west Delhi, a dog was barking inside the locked house. After her mother Prem Devi’s murder in November 2014, Dahiya was living in this 50-yard, two floor house with only her dog for company.
The singer’s neighbours said no one in the area used to interact with her much. According to one neighbour, Manish Rana, “her actual name was Gita. Harshita was her professional name.”
Harshita’s family in Panipat told the media that the dead body will be taken to her Narela house, but that wasn’t the case. Her sister, Lata, gave a mobile number to media persons in the mortuary.
A person picked up the phone after The Quint dialled the number. Claiming to be a ‘friend of Harshita’ he said Harshita would be cremated at Sanoli ghat in Panipat and won’t be taken to her house in Narela.
Harshita Claimed Her Life Was in Danger
The singer, from Sonipat’s Muhammadpur village, was living with her aunt in Delhi’s Narela. In a recent video on her social media profile, Harshita alleged that her life was in danger.
The 22-year-old’s Facebook timeline is replete with videos of her talking to her audience, many of them upwards of 30 minutes.