5-yr-old shot dead for plucking mangoes

5-yr-old shot dead for plucking mangoes

Nipped in the bud

Plucking mangoes from an orchard cost a five-year-old his life in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur district, about 200-km from here, when the owners opened fire, killing him on the spot.

The incident occurred at Khairai village on Sunday, when Shivam, the only child of his parents, plucked a mango from the orchard of Gangadhar Dubey, a neighbour, according to police sources here.

Shivam had gone to Khairai village with his mother to take part in a wedding ceremony. “On Sunday morning, he and another child from the village entered the orchard and plucked a few mangoes,” sources said. Dubey, who was present there, rushed to the spot with other members of the family and allegedly thrashed Shivam while the other child managed to flee from there.

Soon, Shivam’s mother and other relatives also reached the spot and tendered an apology and requested Dubey to close the matter. “Even as the two sides were talking, Dubey opened fire from his licensed gun and the bullet hit Shivam on the head,” sources said.

The child was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared brought dead. An inconsolable Chottan Devi, Shivam’s mother, said:  “They had already punished Shivam...my only child has been taken away from me for a mango.” The alleged culprits managed to make good their escape from the scene. A case has been registered against five persons and a manhunt has been launched to nab them, police said.

Barely a year back, a retired army officer had also killed a child in a similar fashion in Chennai. The retired officer had opened fire at the 13-year-old child who allegedly tried to steal mangoes from an orchard in an army area. He was recently sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chennai court.

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