The calm in a locality in south Delhi was shattered on Thursday evening when multiple shots rang out inside a finance office. A young security guard, in an apparent show of frustration over low wages and lack of leaves, opened indiscriminate fire inside the office of Muthoot Finance Limited in Govindpuri Extension area.
Three people including the 23-year-old security guard died, while two women employees are battling for their lives in a city hospital.
A farewell party was on at Muthoot Finance for three employees who had completed a 10-day training program at the branch. The guard, Vishram Singh, was posted at the entrance gate of the first floor of the office. Around 7.55 pm, when Singh was offered some sweets, he shouted he was fed up of his long working hours and meager salary and opened fire from his licensed .315 semi-automatic pistol.
After firing five rounds randomly, Singh shot himself in the head. Ironically, the three employees, in whose honor the farewell party was organised, sustained bullet injuries; killed two and critically injuring the other.
There were nine people in the office, including Singh, when the incident took place.
"It was the act of a mentally unstable person. Just before firing, he shouted he did not like his long working hours and that he was not getting paid. Then he fired five rounds and after each shot, he kept saying this is for my long working hours, this is for not sanctioning my leave. After the fifth shot, he paused for a moment before shooting himself in the head," a senior police official, who interviewed eyewitnesses, said.
Ajay Chaudhary, the additional commissioner of police (southeast) told rediff.com that the guard had been hired from Sky Force Security Private Limited.
"He had been working at Muthoot for over a year. He fired indiscriminately inside the office and four people sustained bullet injuries," Chadhary confirmed.
The two employees who died have been identified as Yogesh Singh, 27, who was a senior assistant manager at the branch and Krishna Kumar, 25, an assistant manager. Anu Gole, a management trainee, suffered critical gunshot injuries and is admitted in the ICU of AIIMS Trauma Center. Nidhi Gai, an assistant call center executive, received serious bullet injuries in her abdomen, but is out of danger.
SK Singh, the owner of Sky Force Security, said that Vishram never complained about long working hours or meager salary.
"I have known that boy for one-and-a-half years and never once did he say that he was fed up. I spoke to him almost daily and I have no idea why he did this. He had earlier spoken about some family financial troubles, but never did he ask for a raise or anything," SK Singh said.
When asked why he mentioned about leaves before opening fire, SK Singh said, "He did not even apply for a leave. I don't know what took over him."
"He drew a salary of Rs. 8.500 per month, which is usually given to senior guards. He had a weekly off on Sunday and if he worked on a Sunday, he was paid overtime. Financially, he was well off than most security guards," SK Singh added.
Vishram's friend and colleague, Harvinder Singh also said that he had no idea that Vishram was frustrated.
"All of us security guards usually keep complaining about our long hours and salary. I had no idea that Vishram was frustrated. He actually had decent working hours and a weekly off, which is very uncommon among us," Harvinder, who is posted at an ATM in Govinpuri said.
"We were all working when suddenly he opened fire. I was not aware of his desperation, but a few days ago he did tell me that he had some financial problems. He had told me that in spite of working for such long hours, he did not get enough money to send home," branch manager, RP Sarthi told rediff.com.
SK Singh said that Vishram hails from Etah in Uttar Pradesh. He is survived by his brother, father and mother.