8-year-old Laali shot dead by Md. Akhlaq, Md. Wasim, and Md. Saahil over a trivial argument

After putting up a strong battle against death for 7 days, 8-year-old Laali finally succumbed to her fatal injuries on the afternoon of May 27th, in the hospital she was being treated. Youngest of four siblings in a family from Raniganj tehsil in Pratapgarh district in Uttar Pradesh, Premchand Pandey’s daughter Laali was shot in the stomach on May 20th over a trivial argument.

She was going to take a bath in the hand pump placed outside her house, when three ruffians, identified as Mohammad Akhlaq, Mohammad Wasim, and Mohammad Saahil reached the spot and demanded that she move away so they could wash their hands. When the minor refused, as she was taking a bath, they pulled out a gun and fired a bullet into her stomach. Family members and Neighbors rushed to her aid on hearing her scream; the assailants had fled the spot after shooting her.

Handpump outside her home where 8-year-old Laali was taking a bath (source: Amar Ujala)

Wounded and bleeding, Laali was rushed to a local hospital, but after observing the seriousness of her injuries, doctors referred her to Prayagraj. Her relatives and neighbours had identified the three culprits who had shot her, and a complaint was lodged with the Ranigunj Police Station. The police then started a search for the accused and caught two accused, Mohammad Saahil and Mohammad Wasim, the following day. They also carried out a raid and recovered illegal weapons from their possession. Mohammad Akhlaq is still absconding, though some newspapers are carrying the news of him too being arrested.

Speaking with Swarajya on May 28th, the deceased victim’s elder sister, on whose statement the FIR was lodged, informed that she had named four more unidentified individuals; none of them have been arrested so far. Laali’s dead body was handed over to her family, and in the presence of local police, her final rites have been performed. This incident of violence has also sparked communal tension in the region, which has alerted the local police of Ranigunj.


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