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5 Dec 2016

'Drunk' wedding guest shoots dancer dead - Pregnant 22-year-old hit in head by bullet fired by a man asked to get off stage

Arnab Ganguly, TT, Chandigarh, Dec. 4: A young woman who earned a living as a dancer with a troupe that performed at weddings and parties was shot dead early today when a guest, apparently drunk, opened fire minutes after being told to get off the dais.
Police sources in Bathinda, Punjab, where Kulwinder Kaur was shot around 1am, said the 22-year-old collapsed in the middle of a dance sequence as she swayed to a tune.
Kulwinder's husband Jaswinder Singh said they were expecting a baby. His wife, he added, was two-months pregnant.
The accused, who has been identified as Bhola, also in his twenties, is yet to be arrested.
This wasn't the first time that such firing at a wedding celebration - not uncommon in the north Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh - had turned fatal.
Police officials said guests often turned up with licensed guns though the district administration in many towns and villages have banned such celebratory firing.
A police source in Bathinda said Kulwinder and three others - part of a troupe that performs at weddings and private parties in towns and villages of Punjab and Haryana - were on the dais when Bhola, said to have been drunk, went up to the stage.
He insisted on dancing with the four but was politely asked to step off the stage, the officer said.
"There was an argument but after the orchestra group members refused to relent, he stepped off the dais... Then he took the gun that belonged to one of his friends and fired. The bullet hit the girl in the head and she died on the spot," officer added.
Video footage of Kulwinder dancing and suddenly collapsing on the floor within seconds of a shot being fired has been submitted to the police.
Bathinda police have launched a hunt for the accused and four others who were with him when the shot was fired.
Jaswinder said his wife worked with the group and performed at weddings and other events. "Sometimes she would complain that some guests had passed lewd comments or even tried to make a pass at her but no one had attacked her before," he said.
Last month, in Karnal, Haryana, All India Hindu Mahasabha leader Sadhvi Deva Thakur and her associates were booked for allegedly opening fire during a wedding ceremony that left one person dead and four injured.
The Sadhvi and seven of her associates had come to the wedding armed with revolvers and opened fire after reaching the venue.
"There is very little to be done to prevent such mishaps. Many of the villagers and residents in small towns have licensed arms and look at it as a matter of pride to flaunt their weapons, especially at weddings involving non-resident Indians," a police source said.

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